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Saturday, 6 May 2017

Geranium Liqueur

Pelargonium graveolins

This is a type of geranium but unlike the common geranium which in my mind plain stinks, this has a delicate lemony scent. Some call it a rose scented herb.   Another name for it is rose geranium.  In Greece it is called abaroriza.




It grows like mad all during the heat of summer and even in the depths of winter is luscious and green. The snow this winter did it no harm.  Mine was grown from a small cutting put straight into the soil.

The liqueur is very easy to make and has red wine as a base. I first tasted it after I bought a small bottle of homemade liqueur at a school bazaar.  I immediately asked for the recipe from the mama on the stall. 




Imagine drinking a small glass of this rose scented liqueur after a meal of kalamari, fries and tzatziki at a taverna beside the sea on a greek island (Olga's taverna, for those who know). This post is for Niki who is hunched down trying to get out of the photo.  I hope she found the rose geranium in New Zealand.  

I couldn't give her a cutting because NZ Customs and Immigration would have had the sniffer dogs onto her as she returned home.  You cannot take into NZ any foods, plants, plant products, animal products or anything which might harm the flora and fauna of our isolated island nation. Australia is the same.  They appear quite fierce in fact as you nervously enter their country, walking through with your suitcases. You get severely scrutinised, all over.  Don't take a risk.  Even crumbs and a stray sesame seed go in the bins provided, before you reach the official check point.




My pelargonia plant.  The tall grandson cut it back severely a month ago and it is growing all over the place again.




Recipe -

1 1/2 litres red wine*
400 grams sugar
40 leaves from the rose pelargonium with or without the flowers
a sliver of a stick of cinnamon (you don't want the cinnamon to overpower the geranium scent)

Wash the leaves.   Put all the ingredients in a large glass jar that can be sealed, shake well and leave for a month in a sunny place**.  For the first week shake the jar daily till the sugar dissolves.  At the end of the month strain, bottle and drink.  

Others say that white resinated wine should be used though I'm sure the pine resin would outshine the lemony pelargonium leaves and cannot imagine the taste.  If you want a harder liqueur then use vodka or raki.

The ruby tones of a good red wine and the lemony sweetness of the pelargonium are a perfect combination.  Try it that way first.

*some say the wine should be semi sweet, some say dry.  Just use whatever you can get

**others say keep in a dark place.  Take your pick

And for Elaine.  A bottle of this might ease the pain.
Perastika sou.

30 comments:

  1. Oh yum.
    Kalimari, tzatziki, pass on the fries, taramousalata, some olive paste spread no idea what it is called, lovely heavy yellow Greek bread, lemons to squish over Kalimari, washed down with a glass of geranium liqueur.
    Served on my deck chair😀

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    1. And all served at your deck chair!! Well, if you've got the money they'll do a Greek dance as well.lol

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  2. May have to wash the dishes!.😀

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  3. I rather like Geraniums, we had some wild blue ones in the garden last year, I'm hoping they'll return this summer xx

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    1. Geraniums are easy to grow here and come mainly in reds and pinks. I have three in the garden besides the one which I use for the liqueur. Dont think I have seen a blue gernaium. I shall definitely keep an eye out for it. My gardening skills are just above zero and I love plants like geraniums which grow all by themselves in all sorts of conditions.

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  4. What is the going rent for a little studio flat in Poros or Galatas for a season? I appreciate people may not want to do that as they can get so much for July n August.
    Solicitor said forget buying anywhere in Greece, economy and Brexit.

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    1. An apartment with a couple of rooms will cost at least 200 euros a month but that is unfurnished. Furnished I have no idea. I'll find out.

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    2. Your solicitor, Kirrie, is only expressing a subjective opinion. If you want to buy and property is cheap, buy it.

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    3. Greeks in dire need of cash are selling very cheap. In Athens you can buy a newly decorated 2 bedroom flat for 30,000 euros or even maybe less if you're lucky.

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    4. Yes, a crash pad in Athens would be fab!. Studio flats from £17000, but I have no idea of no go areas.Spend a lot of free time looking.

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  5. Only 200 euros a month???
    My lodger pays £500 a month for a bedroom!.bills included.
    But believe unfurnished in Greece means no kitchen, no cooker washing machine bed etc

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    Replies
    1. Four walks and the door only, sometimes not even the light cords.

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    2. That wouldn,t work!. Would need to get everything sent from Athens, expensive and leave it all behind if decided to travel further.mmmmmm

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    3. I think i need to move to Greece!!!

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    4. Dont forget that is only a bare apartment, probably one bedroom and a living room, no appliances whatsoever. Depends on the area too of course.

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  6. I think i have that kind of Geranium in my garden,shall look tomorrow.

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    1. It would do well in your climate. Smell the leaves!

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    2. I have it, so glad! ,my gardening skills are the same as yours, i am going to "plant" more this morning.

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    3. It should do well. it is nice and green and has colourful flowers in the summer when everything else is so dry and brown. Needs a little water but not too much. I think it would b very diffiuclt to kill it!!! My favourite!!

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  7. It sounds yummy. I'm on the hunt for rose geranium now. I had some years ago but I don't know what happened to it. It just vanished. I'm thinking someone took it out of the front garden or the rabbits might of dug it out
    And yes we are very tight on bio security here. But it's worked. We don't have many diseases that other countries do. If only they had been this stringent years ago we wouldn't have rabbits or foxes or Cain toads yuck!

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    1. I can totally understand why Australia and NZ are so strict on what you can bring in. Being isolated islands they are able to keep most of the diseases of the rest of the world at bay. They just seem so fiercesome every time I enter. But I know if I obey their laws and instructions they are in fact friendly and entrance goes smoothly. I declare absolutely anything I'm not sure about.
      Hope you find the geranium. It is a really easy liqueur and very pleasant to drink

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  8. oh my Nana grew this on the window-sill of her flat in the 1960s in the UK...I can still remember the scent so vividly...thanks for the reminder xx

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    1. I'm glad you know it downunder. I thought it was just in the med. But of course you have a very similar climate....if upside down lol

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  9. I have a lovely scented Geranium called Geranium Mandaresa? The perfume is wonderful. Could we use this?

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    1. I'm looking into this. But if the geranium is sweet smelling I think it would be worth a try. I'll let you know.

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    2. I have just been reading about geranium mandaresa on one of your old posts! Saw the photos so I know what yours looks like.

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    3. The leaves look the same and the flowers similar but a different colour. I'll ask around here.

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  10. http://www.scentedgeraniums.co.uk/scentedgeraniumscatalogue/prod_166610-lemon-fancy-lemon-scented-pelargonium.html

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  11. Those get well wishes did the trick - thank you! Mind you, I think a glass or two of this liqueur would have speeded up the process. This is definitely one for my recipe book and a trial batch.

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