Genepi (or Wormwood) liquor is prepared by distillation or infusion of the best known of many aromatic plants of the Alps: the genepi or wormwood. This flower grows at an altitude between 2000 and 3000 meters above sea level and belongs to the family of sagebrush.
If the wormwood was already used in the eighteenth century in the composition of some medicinal liquors such as “water arquebusade” or “Arquebuse” the plant is really only used at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
In the French Alps, distilleries known as houses Dolin were founded in 1815 and in 1883 Routin developped this liqueur appreciated by fans.
This liquor, commonly called “genepi” has become, with the development of winter sports, a liquor emblematic of the French Alps. Become “specialty” it has been the subject of a quote repeated in the Tresor Gastronomique de France, directory of culinary specialties of the French provinces.
It was not uncommon for mountaineers to make their own liquor, but new laws regulating the collection of wormwood tend to eradicate these practices.
Depending on the components and the method of manufacture, genepi liquor may have a white color, green or brown and up to 40, 30 or 20% alcohol. It is made from sagebrush with different Latin name, Artemisia spicata, Artemisia Artemisia glacialis or mutellina.
Each distiller uses a different manufacturing process that is his real expertise. Mixture of extracts, distillation or maceration are keystones of the methods developed.
> The mixture of extracts: different species of plants including wormwood, obtained after distillation of plants fresh or dried, mixed with alcohol and then added to a sugar syrup.
> Maceration: This is the easiest method. Plants are macerated in a mixture of neutral spirits and water for two to three months. A sugary syrup is then added to give the elixir liqueur-like properties.
> The Distillation: plants are macerated in a mixture of alcohol and water and everything is distilled in stills. Water and sugar syrup are then added to turn the alcoholate in liquor.
Originally used in many herbal remedies, the wormwood has many virtues: Appetizers (stimulates appetite), digestive and tonic (aids digestion, relieves spasms and prevents intestinal parasites), antipyretic (fever dropped ), sweat (helps regulate body temperature), antiseptic and healing (for external wounds, insect bites and ulcers). For the record, this liqueur of alpine plant is also known for … treating altitude sickness!
But today, we appreciate the better genepi liquor after a meal. This can be done using small glasses but also glasses of more capacity to add a few ice cubes. Then we can enjoy the best color and subtle fragrance that emanates from the plant.
Ingredients for 20 people
40 strands of génépi
1/2 liter of alcohol at 90 °
1/2 liter of water
40 pieces of sugar or cane syrup
Make the “Genépi” directly into bottles.
Soak 40 strands of genépi (do not take from a national park because the fine is high) in 1/2 L of alcohol at 90 ° for 40 days or more, filter and cut with 1/2 L of water, add the 40 sugars, dissolve and leave for another week before drinking. Leave a branch og genepi in the bottle for decoration.