|Photo credit: Roger Darlington - Manchester UK|
Bog Myrtle, Sweet Gale (Myrica gale)
Myrica gale is found throughout northern and western Europe and North America. It can be collected in Forested woodlands or heathlands near streams or bogs (Fens). It is related to a familiar plant from California's chaparral plant community called Pacific Wax Myrtle (Myrica californica), which is also aromatic and sweet when it's leaves or berries are crushed.Interesting when you become intrigued with a subject and start digging into the historicity of the subject and it's importance to Nature as well as countless other usages. Interestingly Bog Myrtle can grow in inter-tidal zones like estuaries where log jams are washed down from higher elevations for the plant to get a foot hold. Did you know that Sweet Gale or Bog Myrtle is a favourite food of Beaver ? Well neither did I. These low estuary beaver dams can be found in the inter-tidal zone if sufficient numbers of Sweet Gale plant can be found. These Beaver ponds may be submerged at high tide, but retain and hold water at low tide allowing enough deep water levels to provide a refuge for fish, which includes juvenile Salmon where the water may be too deep for predatory wading birds who make their home in the estuary. Hence the presence of Bog Myrtle or Sweet Gale, which encourages Beaver Dam Habitat may inadvertently create and enhance Salmon recruitment scenario.
Now back to the Liqueur, Porse Schnapps. Incredibly a person with enough know how and ingredients can quite possibly create their own versions of this Schnapps. Often other ingredients are used in the recipes. That's why different brands offer unique flavours. One of the most popular is the Aalborg Snaps which is made from fresh Danish Sweet Gale or Bog Myrtle, and further spiced with Rosemary, Sherry, and Oak. A number of other medicinal herbs have also been used along with or independently from Sweet Gale to create their own unique Snaps or Schnapps. St John's wort is just another one of these plants. Basically essences from these plants singly or together in any combination can be cut up finely and put into a large Mason Jar and then a neutral Schnapps (like Brøndum or Vodka) may be poured into the Jar and then tightly sealed and aged for a few weeks to six months. Isn't it incredible the amount of creations and recipes that can be discovered and invented ? This now takes me back to my imaginary experience with essence of Chaparral while I enjoyed sipping this beverage along with a Carlsberg Beer.
|Pacific Wax Myrtle|
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