Rosemary is a perennial evergreen herb that is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family and is known for its fragrant, woody aroma and its needle-like leaves. The plant is typically grown for its foliage, which is used as a culinary herb and in a wide range of medicinal and cosmetic applications.
In terms of flavour, rosemary imparts a distinct, resinous, and pungent taste to a distilled spirit. The key flavour compounds found in rosemary include borneol, cineole, camphor, verbenone, alpha-pinene, bornyl acetate, linalool, camphene, beta-caryophyllene, alpha-terpineol, p-cymene, ar-curcumene, 1-nonanol and terpinen-4-ol.
Borneol is a terpene alcohol that contributes a warm, spicy and woody aroma to the spirit and gives a sense of sweetness. Cineole, also known as eucalyptol, is a terpene that has a strong, fresh, and medicinal aroma, it gives a sense of menthol, minty, and camphoraceous. Camphor is a terpene that gives a minty, woody, and medicinal aroma. Verbenone is a terpene that contributes a woody, piney and a slight floral aroma. Alpha-pinene is a terpene that gives a fresh, piney and a woody aroma. Bornyl acetate is a terpene ester that gives a woody, spicy and a slight minty aroma. Linalool is a terpene alcohol that gives a floral, sweet and a fresh aroma. Camphene is a terpene that gives a camphoraceous, woody and a spicy aroma. Beta-caryophyllene is a terpene that gives a woody, spicy, and a slightly peppery aroma. Alpha-terpineol is a terpene alcohol that gives a floral, woody and a fresh aroma. P-cymene is a terpene that gives a fresh, woody, and a floral aroma. Ar-curcumene is a terpene that gives a fresh, woody and a spicy aroma. 1-nonanol is a terpene alcohol that gives a floral, woody, and a fresh aroma. Terpinen-4-ol is a terpene alcohol that gives a fresh, woody, and a slightly medicinal aroma.
When distilled with distilled spirit, Rosemary will impart these flavours and aroma due to the presence of these compounds. The combination of these compounds interact to create a unique flavour profile, with the woody and minty notes of the borneol, cineole and camphor, the floral and spicy of the verbenone, alpha-pinene and bornyl acetate, the sweet and fresh of the linalool, camphene, beta-caryophyllene, alpha-terpineol, p-cymene, ar-curcumene, 1-nonanol and terpinen-4-ol, that will create a unique and complex aroma and taste to the distilled spirit.To enjoy this distilled spirit, a suggested serve could be simply on the rocks or paired with a citrusy tonic water and garnished with a sprig of rosemary for a refreshing and unique drink.