At the height of summer all the parsley here on the island is coming to the end of it’s life cycle and beginning to set seed. Since we only need a couple of plants left in the ground to complete this cycle (and we have a lot of plants running wild) now is the perfect time to pull them out and use the entire plant—from root to tip—for hydrosol.
The roots and thick stalks went into the pot, while the aerial parts—the seeds, flowers and flexible stems—were packed into the column of a 10L alembic column still. This combination of water and steam distilling gave us a beautifully clean and aromatic hydrosol.
Parsley smells amazing when it goes to seed, especially the tangled white roots—the scent is deeper and more earthy than the fresh green spring leaves—and super intense. And this is what comes across in the hydrosol, along with a crisp, slightly peppery finish. It still has those fresh parsley tinges, but on the whole it’s more earthy and even hints at umami, though there is much more on the nose than on the palate. Its complex bouquet adds mystery, minerality and a dash of herbaceous-spice to drink blends.
We recommend trying it in a virgin bloody mary. Simply substitute a generous measure for the vodka and go from there. Fresh tomato juice goes best, as it tends to be less intense which allows the complex bouquet of the hydrosol to shine through. Salt, pepper and a touch of lemon are also definitely recommended to make it sing—along with s spicy kick (we like Tabasco or Kaitaia Fire) and whatever else tickles your fancy.
Seriously refreshing, and the best way to welcome back friends from their travels. Cheers!