Herbs of
Mallorca

Origin Denomination Mallorca

The arabs discovered it and started a process to obtain the alcohol by distillation in IX century, were it arrived later (XII and XIII c.) in Europe by the hands of the venetians trades. The monasteries and ecclesiastic company’s had a very important paper in obtaining the distillation, in the beginnings, were used with curative and medicinal purposes. In the islands, in the end of XIII century, the mallorquine Ramon Llull made an important contribution to the distillation process. At the ends of XVIII century in Mallorca there was 177 distilleries dedicated to obtain liquor producing 780.000 litres, 60% of them were consumed in the islands.

In the XIX century drinks were exported to other places, like for example South America. At the end of this same century, moment when it was popular and generalized the fabrication and consume of the herbs, several distilleries opened they are still there now days. In the islands, actually, there are an important number of elaborates of spirit drinks, very appreciated by the islanders and visitors, products that are part of our festivals, customs and traditions.

In the regulation of the Geographic Denomination, the Herbs of Mallorca is an aniseed spirit drink obtained basically from the extraction of the essence of several plants of the island, for example: fennel, rosemary, lemon verbena, camomile, lemon, orange and lemon balm. The antecedents of the herbs are situated in the monasteries, were the friars elaborated a wide range of liquors and spirit drinks elaborated with herbs and fruits.

The mallorquine peasants elaborated, in the houses, the herbs, thanks to the distilleries, at the middle and end of XVIII century, that provided the aniseed spirit drink. Later on there were created liquor industries with a reasonable production, even that now days it’s very common the home made herbs, with family recipes.

Traditionally this aniseed spirit drink has had a great acceptation in Mallorca in an industry and family level. In 2002 the regulation of Geographic Denomination was allotted for the Mallorca Herb liquor, which on one hand allows the protection of the name and on the other hand to avoid unfair competition and ensure the quality of the product.

Elaboration

The Mallorcan Herbs they are harvested by mixing an aniseed spirit drink with a hidroalcholic flavoured by maceration and/or distillation of aromatic plants. The essential ingredients if the Mallorcan Herbs are the following. Aniseed alcoholic spirit. Ethyl Agricola alcohol. Water. Aromatic plants: lemon verbena, camomile, orange, lemon, rosemary, lemon balm and fennel, everything is produced on the island of Mallorca the elaboration and bottling of the Mallorca Herbs are done exclusively here.

Characteristic sensorial

Mallorcan Herbs are from green to an amber colour with different intensities and subtleties which detects various aromas to the smell of the anis. There are different kinds of sweetening so every one can find the one they desire.

Kinds of Mallorcan Herbs

Depending of the sugar containing and the per cent in alcohol there is three different kinds on Mallorcan Herbs:

•Sweet Herbs: with a minimum per cent in alcohol of 20% and a minimum of 300 g/litres of saccharin.

•Mixed Herbs: with a minimum per cent in alcohol of 25% and the sugar contain are between 100 and 300 g/l. This type has been the answer of the commercial demand of the consumers, in bars, sweet and dry mixed herbs. The waiter with a bottle in each hand and serving it with great ability in a glass at the same time so they would be well mixed.

•Dry Herbs: with a minimum per cent in alcohol of 35% and a maximum of 100 g/litres of saccharin.

Control System

The elaborates of herbs, to be able to use Herbs of Mallorca in their labels, they have to be registered in the Geographic Denomination Register, that manages the General Direction of Rural environment and Marine, of the Agriculture Ministry, Environment and Territory, of the Balearic Government. The elaborates of Mallorcan Herbs has to have a register system, authorized previously by the General Direction of Rural environment and Marine that guarantees the identification and track of the aniseed spirit drink commercialized with the Geographic Denomination Herbs of Mallorca. Every year, the elaborates of the Mallorca Herbs, have to present to the General Direction of Rural environment and Marine a declaration, in a normalized form, the stocks, productions and commercialization of the Mallorca Herbs.

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