A native to the Mediterranean and considered the perfect remedy for eye diseases due to the stories about snakes eating the seeds to restore and improve vision. Fennel was also used to relieve flatulence and stimulate the appetite and has a calming effect on bronchitis and coughs. Today it is still fed to cows to stimulate milk production.
Indigenous to Egypt, Anise is one of the oldest spices known to man. The Romans used it as a breath sweetener, as well as to treat nausea. They also believed it to be an aphrodisiac and it was widely used to treat coughs, bronchitis and asthma.
Cumin is related to fennel and coriander and was again much loved by the Romans. It is mentioned in the bible that the plant was commonly used in the dark and middle ages. Cumin seeds contain high amounts of carotene and iron and were used to help the digestive process and as a tonic for the heart and nervous system. Cumin supposedly has the gift of retention and was at one time was used by European housewives to keep their husbands faithful. It also has anthelmintic and antiseptic properties.
Homemade Swedish Scnaps Recipes
Ingredients - Aniseed, Cumin, Fennel Seeds, Dill
Take a 700ml bottle, add a few sprigs of fresh dill and a tablespoon of each ingredient. Pour the vodka in and allow it to sit for 3-4 days. Filter the snaps with a coffee filter or sieve of your choice, depending on how many left-over herbs you are happy to have. If you would prefer it sweeter you can add a couple of spoons of icing sugar.
Enjoy with rich foods such as salmon, ham, and cheese.
Ingredients - 3 long chilis, 6 small chilis, black peppercorns
Cut the three long and 3 small chilis in half lengthways. Dice up the remaining 3 smaller chilis. Place them all in a 700ml bottle with a tablespoon of black peppercorns. Pour the vodka in and allow it to sit for 1-5 days. This can depend on how strong the chilli is and how hot you like it. Be careful with the chilis and make sure you wash your hands after and avoid contact with your eyes.
Enjoy it with burgers, salads or Mexican. Coleslaw is a favourite.
Ingredients - the zest and peel from three lemons
Peel two lemons and take the zest of the third and add it to the bottle. Pour in the vodka and allow it to sit for a several days, again depending on how strong you want the flavour. Some people prefer to leave it for a week.
Enjoy it as a nice light drink that can be taken with sweet foods like desserts.
Make sure the bottles are sealed to keep in the flavours. You can use other clean spirits to make your concoctions such as gin, sake, and light rums. Infusing darker spirits is a little touchier, but will work if you choose the right complimentary flavour to the liquor like an apricot or cherry. So don't stop with what's above. The world is your oyster!!!