The pharmacist's Grappa
- Plant: White wormwood (Achillea Clavennae)
- Plant part: flower
- Plant feauters: digestive, astringent, vulnerary, aromatic
In 1609, a pharmacist named Nicolò Chiavenna from Belluno, published a botanical essay entitled «Historia Absinthium Umbelliferi»; in the book, he asserted that he had discovered an aromatic herb looking like common wormwood and featuring interesting healing properties on the slopes of Mount Serva.
He actually named it "Mount Serva wormwood" and he recommended it as an effective remedy against stomach-ache and digestion problems. His intuition was correct, since all of the experiments he carried out with various preparations of its herb (jams, infusions and powders) prooved him right in the end. Even the bishop of Belluno, Aloisio Lollino, thanked him openly after recovering from a long and annoying upset stomach thanks to the chemist's remedy: «Nos Aloysius Lomnus Belluni Episcopus . .. cognoverimus usum Absintij umbelljferi ... ad frigidam stomachi intemperaturam plurimum conferre ... ».
These merits together with the importance of Nicolò's researches made him so well-known that Linneo himself named a plant after his name over one century later. The species Achillea Clavenae is one out of many "Achillea" (dedicated to Achille because of its legendary properties) species common in Alpine areas.
When picking up this plant, a scent reminding of wormood goes straight up the nose and this must be the reason why our author named it that way.
- about 10 Achillea Clavenae fresh blooms
- 1 liter Grappa
- few leaves of lemon verbena (to taste)
- a vanilla bean (to taste)
- cinnamon chips (to taste)
- bitter orange peel (to taste)
- brown sugar (to taste)
Leave the fresh Achillea Clavenae blooms in the grappa to macerate for a month and then let the infusion age for a further month.The flavour and the scent is similar to many wormwood-based spirits.
Poli Distillerie and
Poli Grappa Museum
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