Introducing Glechoma hederacea, the most surprising ingredient to elevate a Gin and Tonic
World Best Bar
Apr 17, 2020
10 January 2019
Introducing Glechoma hederacea, better known as ground ivy. Ground ivy grows all year round in humid, shady areas and under hedges. Used in traditional herbal medicines for thousands of years, its purple, peppery and sweet flowers can only be picked in the late spring, and its small leaves have an aroma that is reminiscent of mint and citronella. The latter are perfect to decorate and flavour a well-dosed gin and tonic and surprise your palate without quashing the notes of Beefeater gin.
You too can do like the professionals and use it to spice up your cocktails. But don’t go off ripping the ivy leaves from your neighbor’s wall – that’s the best way to poison yourself and regret it later. Picking wild leaves is an art, and ground ivy does not escape the rule. Therefore, only use if you’re absolutely certain that you’ve picked the right plant. Clean the leaves thoroughly before infusing, dipping, or placing on the edge of the glass, depending on the desired intensity of flavor.
To infuse into a syrup, combine a bunch of leaves with 1 part water and 2 parts sugar in a small saucepan, stir over medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved, and let simmer on low without bringing to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean container. Store it in the fridge and use within 2 weeks. To keep it longer, add in a splash of vodka after bottling.
To avoid any risk, purchase a shrub in an organic garden center and plant it in a pot. It will thrive in a shaded place.