Spirit drinks
Hierbas Ibicencas

Hierbas Ibicencas is an aniseed-flavoured liqueur, made of aromatic plant extracts, with varying degree of sweetness. These liqueurs are very popular in the Balearic Islands, with a high level of production and consumption. They form part of the traditional customs of many homes, which have always made homemade varieties using their own recipes and many a well-guarded secret. Strangely enough, in the late 19th century the first example of what might be called a liqueur-making business was founded on Formentera rather than Ibiza. It is common knowledge that many of Formentera's inhabitants combined fishing with agricultural and livestock activities. However, in around 1880 one of them had other priorities and, with his boat (or llaüt), he made trips to Barcelona to supply the island with items and utensils that could not be found there. He learnt the secrets of how to use a still and how to make alcoholic drinks, founding a small factory that, years later, would move to Ibiza. Indeed it still exists today. In 1997 the Hierbas Ibicencas geographical designation was approved, thus protecting this geographical name, whilst also preventing unfair competition and guaranteeing the product's quality.

 

The manufacturing process

 

In the corresponding regulation for this geographical designation Hierbas Ibicencas is defined as an aniseed-flavoured liqueur mainly made by extracting aromas from different plants that can be found in the area where it is produced such as fennel, thyme, rosemary, lemon verbena, lavender, rue, eucalyptus, camomile, juniper and juniper berries, oregano, mint, rockrose, the leaves and skin of oranges and lemons, and sage, together with other plants like star anise and Hierbas Ibicencas - Balearic Islands - Agrifoodstuffs, designations of origin and Balearic gastronomy green aniseed. When manufacturing Hierbas Ibicencas, the plant aromas are extracted as follows:

 

 

  • Distillation: in gas-fired copper stills at a low heat for 18 hours.
  • Maceration: in a hydroalcoholic solution, using 70º ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin, for 2 weeks.
  • Infusion: in boiling water, which is then left to cool.

The product obtained by the above methods is then mixed to achieve a liqueur with a 24 - 38 % alcohol content. The area where the liqueur is made is limited to the islands of Ibiza and Formentera.

 

Its sensorial properties Hierbas Ibicencas can be defined as having a blend of flavours and aromas that envelop those of the liqueur's aniseed base. It is this rich combination that gives the end product its strength and balance. In some cases a specific type of aroma tends to predominate (fennel, thyme and/or rosemary), but in general the aim is to achieve a careful blend of its multiple, different extracts. The liqueur is characterized by its amber colour, with different shades.

 

The chemical properties

Hierbas Ibicencas has the following chemical properties:

  • Vol. alcohol: 24 - 38%.
  • Sugar content: max. 250 g/l.
  • Density (at 20ºC): under 1.18 g/ml.
  • Maximum methyl alcohol content: 1g/l.
  • Maximum heavy metal content: 40 ppm (expressed as lead)


The control system To be able to use the Hierbas Ibicencas designation on their labels, manufacturers must be listed on the Geographical Designation Register that is supervised and managed by the Insular Council of Eivissa.

Hierbas Ibicencas - Balearic Islands - Agrifoodstuffs, designations of origin and Balearic gastronomy
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