All throughout history, Monks produced spirit-based drinks. These creations were used as medicines and tonics. Still today, we consider an after dinner drink to have digestive qualities (possibly from the relaxation and improved mood one gets from sitting around and chatting with friends, after a good meal).
Herbs used to flavor liqueurs are in and of themselves, tasty. Add them in the right combination, and you have your own unique aperitif. Don't forget that they require time to steep, so early fall is the critical time to create your own herbal liqueurs, in time for gift giving.
Play around with your flavors. I enjoy keeping a more savory type for illness, while a naturally sweet liqueur might be the exact thing a holiday meal needs. Either way, no one would ever say no to this unique gift.
With it's delicious flavor and aroma, the natural sweetness of angelica is perfect for an herbal liqueur.
Because herbal liqueurs are naturally served as as a digestive, anise if a perfect addition to the list.
From the article on Anise:
Cooks like anise for a number of things. Known for it's licorice taste. The seeds are interchangeable with fennel and can be used whole or ground. Chewing anise seeds or making a simple tea, can often soothe the stomach. Try adding anise seed to cheese and egg dishes, in breads and cracker spreads and in the recipes for these baked goods.
One whiff of its heady scent, and it will come as no surprise that bergamot makes this list. What a sensual taste it would impart.
Why simply nibble a few, fragrant seeds, when you can create a luscious liqueur, resplendent in the naturally sweet flavor of Caraway?
Of course, coriander is the result of your cilantro going to seed. This year, I often say that I meant to grow coriander; since the season was a bust and far too hot for cilantro to do well.
Really, there is no reason NOT to grow fennel in the garden. Being able to use it to flavor delicious liqueurs is just a bonus.
From formal to casual, tasty to prettying up the landscape, hyssop is a must have herb. Imagine how much more you can justify it in the garden, now that you know it can be used in herbal liqueurs?
The surprising strength of the hyssop's aroma, also translates into a natural sweetness that marries well into an herbal liqueur.
Well loved and at the same time feared in the garden, this invasive herb needs only strict handling, to make it a favorite. Use it to create a refreshing after dinner liqueur, and enjoy it even more.
Any mint that you enjoy the flavor of would do, but if you are choosing for the first time, the peppermint flavor would be a good choice. Wintergreen seems to remind me of candy and toothpaste. This isn't exactly the sensation I am trying to evoke with a liqueur.
Thyme is a wonderful addition to this list. I have to admit, it is a tasty herb, but in this instance, I think of the herbal liqueur to be more of a medicinal than an after dinner digestive. Try it and let me know what you think.
The mere thought of drinking a liqueur flavored with the delicate scent of violets, just sounds luscious.
Used for their soothing and naturally sweet flavor, violets would not only taste good on their own, they would pair well with other herbs, to complete a recipe of your own making.