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Flavor Profile: Medium acidity, medium sweetness
Tasting Notes: Sweet and herbaceous; a pronounced flavor of basil, marjoram, and oregano, with a fruity background and prominent acidity.
Kitchen Pairings: Salads, particularly herb-driven ones, veggies that pair well to herbs, fish, poultry, berries, sorbet, fruit.
Bar Pairings: The herbaceous qualities work well with similarly flavored liqueurs i.e. chartreuse, fernet branca, etc. For spirits in particular, Gin and Vodka are the most logical choices, though a more savory/sweet pairing like a Peaty Scotch or Mezcal (Talisker Storm and Mezcal Ilegal come to mind) would work too.
The Idea: Scarlet Bee Balm is an incredibly unique flower hiding in plain sight. Native to the US, it’s a somewhat common flower, and while not ubiquitous, it’s something most people have probably seen at one point or another. Still, the culinary qualities of the flowers themselves are hard to bring out; too direct of an application yields an overpowering flavor. Too little, and it fades into the background making something like oregano or marjoram a more sensible choice. So, what to do?
The key is time. Maximizing the flavor and color while maintaining balance between savory, sweetness and acidity isn’t about the quantity of the flower foraged, it’s about allowing a batch to ferment and age over the course of a year, then before bottling, “hopping” the vinegar with the current years flowers. It isn’t efficient by any means, but it creates great balance: emphasizing the herbal qualities of the flower, without overpowering everything it touches.
200mL (6.76oz) bottle.
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