Damiana Liqueur – Aphrodisiac & Mood Tonic

This one is an absolute corker! Strictly 18+ I’m afraid, as it’s made with vodka and therefore very strong in terms of the alcohol content. Please enjoy this drink responsibly.

The damiana is a wonderful aphrodisiac and is reputed to act as an antidepressant. (Caveat: please, please see a doctor if you are suffering from depression). I’ve described it here as a ‘mood tonic’ as just a small glass gives you a real lift, and a lovely, warming buzz.

The longer you can leave this before drinking, the better it gets. It creates the most beautiful, golden-amber liquid which seems to mellow with age and develops a beautiful mead-like quality.

In Auckland I can highly recommend Cauldron Craft in Devonport as a source for damiana leaves (and other herbal supplies). Lily, who runs the shop has tried this recipe herself, and this wee tipple is getting quite a following!

1) Soak 1oz of dried damiana leaves in 1 pint of vodka for a minimum of 5 days (I usually leave mine closer to 2 weeks, shaking it daily).

2) Pour off liquid, strain & filter through conical coffee filter paper.

3)  Soak alcohol-drenched leaves in 3/4 pint of distilled or spring water for another 5 days.

4) Pour off liquid, strain and filter as before.

5) Warm the water extract to 160 deg F and dissolve 1/2 to 1 cup of honey in it.

6) Mix the alcoholic and aqueous extractions.

Use immediately or age for a month or so. A harmless sediment will form as the liqueur clarifies. This may be siphoned if preferred. One or two cordial glasses may be taken nightly. :)