PROPERTIES AND CHARACTERISTICS
The artichoke is a herbaceous plant derived from the horticultural selection of wild thistle, for this reason it is not a plant that grows spontaneously but is cultivated as a vegetable.
The growth of this plant is biennial and has thorns. It has no odor but its taste is very bitter. The artichoke has choleretic, diuretic and digestive properties. However, being decidedly bitter, the consumption of the artichoke by lactating women is not recommended, because the milk produced may be bitter.
The artichoke is grown mainly in the south, however it can be easily found throughout Italy in supermarkets. It is possible to cultivate artichokes easily even in our garden, not needing special care.
It is also generally used to counter cholesterol problems or to purify the liver.
We have different types of artichoke liqueur that can be made at home, we can make a simple artichoke liqueur, useful as a digestive, or an artichoke infusion that helps to digest but also to purify our body, thanks to the use of other ingredients.
SIMPLE LIQUEUR WITH ARTICHOKE
In addition to being cooked and consumed as a vegetable, the artichoke is used for processing artichoke liqueur which is an excellent digestive, to be consumed mainly at the end of a meal. This type of artichoke liqueur is very simple and is consumed mainly as a digestive after a meal
We need to make the artichoke liqueur
- 800 grams of carcasses stems
- 3 leaves
- 600 grams of sugar
- 1 liter of water
- 1 liter of pure alcohol
The stems and the artichoke leaves must be carefully washed. Then we have to move on to cleaning the artichoke stems. In fact, the external part could be excessively hard, so it is advisable to peel the stem so as to eliminate the first layer which, besides being hard, is also the part, if we like, more dirty. Then cut the stems into cubes and bring the water to a boil in a saucepan with the sugar, mixing the mixture well until the sugar has melted.
Let this mixture cool and pour the alcohol, the artichoke leaves and the diced stems into a glass container, then insert the syrup previously obtained in the same container.
We leave to soak everything for about 30 days in a place protected from light and above all from humidity and heat, this to avoid any mold formation that could alter the fermentation and force us to throw everything. For this reason the container which contains the whole must be sterilized and free of humidity. We therefore advise you to wash the container and then turn it upside down over a flame (such as in the stove) for a few moments, so as to absorb any moisture created inside the container. Then we just have to filter the mixture and bottle the obtained liqueur. For the bottles, after having washed them thoroughly, let's put them on the flame as done with the container, so as to eliminate all the humidity.
INFUSION TO ARTICHOKE
To prepare the artichoke tea we need:
- 600 ml of alcohol
- 2 artichoke leaves
- 2 cloves
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
First we clean and cut the artichoke leaves into pieces and let them soak with the sugar in a container for about 3 days.
Then we pour the alcohol, cloves and cinnamon into the mixture, close it all and store it in a dark and dry place for about a month.
After 30 days we pass to the filtering of the infusion, adding, if necessary, water and sugar until obtaining the desired sweetness.
Remember to proceed with the sterilization of the container also in this case.
To properly sterilize a glass container we can put it in a pot covered with water and boil it for a few minutes. Once removed from the pan, we dry well, taking care to eliminate all the humidity that could compromise, as mentioned above, the creation of the liquor.
Artichoke liqueur: THE FAMOUS CYRAN
Certainly the most famous artichoke liqueur is Cyran, which is obtained by mixing the artichoke with other herbs. Cyran has an amber color and its flavor is between sweet and bitter, widely consumed as a digestive, but can also be consumed easily as an aperitif because it helps to improve digestion in any case.
In summary, there are many ways to use the artichoke and create the most suitable liqueur for our needs, perhaps combining the taste of the artichoke, a spice of our liking or adding further sugar. It should be noted, however, that sugar should not be exaggerated in making the liqueur, because this will give the liqueur, once it has come into contact with alcohol, a higher alcohol content and therefore risk making a liqueur too strong.
Alternatively, both in most supermarkets provided, but also on the internet, it is possible to buy many artichoke-based products without difficulty, including the artichoke liqueur, in different flavors, or Cyran. The latter, however, is more readily available as it is also widely used for the creation of cocktails, or diluted with other beverages, is increasingly often served as an aperitif not only because it helps digestion but also for its purifying properties in general. and for the very particular taste which, combining bitter notes with sweet notes, is much more drinkable for more delicate palates.