Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I know on the surface, this does not look like a food growing topic - but it actually is.

I happen to distill my own base spirit, from sugar, water and yeast.  I've always assumed you make the base and then go and buy some flavour essence (a bit like not realising that vanilla essence is made from beans).  However, I am quickly discovering this is not true.  For example, Lemonchello is a wonderful use for excess lemons and tastes fantastic.  There are some wonderful old school skills that could be shared here. 

Anyways, before I continue the topic, I thought I might see if there was any interest.  If not, I'll shut up.  (Won't be in the least offended because I suspect this might be a kinda unique interest of mine.)

You can also do this by adding a (reasonably priced) bottle of vodka to homemade cordials.  

Um... anyone interested?  Don't need to feel sorry for the newbie - it's honestly fine if you're not.

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Andrew you can hit the picture icon - it's the second on the left of the bar above the window into which you type. That way you get the picture right into the reply rather than as an attachment.

Thanks Elaine!

To add pics to the discussion I just go to the "image" icon (rectangle, second in on the left beside the word "link" OR I just save a photo and paste it in here. Both work. I don't actually know how others make those attachments :S

I have quite a few of these jars Andy. Was using them for jam and such. There's stone fruit out in the shops at the moment begging to be made into your liquer.

I've been waiting for plums.  They go really well because they're a nice soft flesh.  Thanks Lissa. 

I'll pick up plums myself then if you recommend them. Still to buy the vodka! Working long days at the moment and just go home and crash.

I got myself a kilo of plums today.  Wilson plums I think.  Wasn't gunna pay full price for them.  I'll put the proper plum recipe up tonight.  The peach recipe would work (without tea of coursed) but since I have a real one, let's try that.  No go buy some vodka!

Recipe in the group. 

if the photo is already on BLF you can use the LINK button and paste in the URL (web address) of the photo - but you have to navigate to the photo first, find the VIEW FULL SIZE button, hit that and then copy that URL (CTRL C) before you go back and open the link button - so you have the right URL on your clipboard ready to paste (CTRL V) into the url section the link button asks you for. Note you can't use the photo page url - it has to be the full size, photo only URL.

Also, at the bottom left of the REPLY editing window is another link UPLOAD FILES - this will let you upload a link to a jpg, gif, word doc, pdf etc

Here's one for when you have a surplus of fresh herbs or your plants are going to seed and you need to use them quickly.

Despite the name, it doesn't have a hundred herbs in it so panic not. It is based on a centuries old recipe from Italy. In all likelihood it originated in a monastery somewhere.



1 qt    Vodka                                                     6        Chamomile flowers (4 if dry)

4        Mint leaves                                              4        Cloves

4        Sage leaves                                            ½        Cinnamon stick

4        Basil leaves                                             ½  tsp  Tea leaves

4        Bay leaves                                              1/8 tsp  Saffron threads

4        Kafir lime leaves                                       2½ cups Sugar

7        Rosemary leaves                                     1½

4        Juniper berries


Choose a jar with a close fitting lid which will hold the herbs and vodka without quite filling it.

Fill the jar with the vodka and add the herbs. Cover tightly and set aside for a week in a dark, warm place.

Shake the bottle daily.

Boil the sugar in the water. Set aside to cool.

Add sugar syrup to the vodka.

Set aside for another three days.

Filter through muslin or a coffee filter.

Bottle tightly and leave for at least six months before using.


  1. The recipe also called for 4 leaves of cedrina (Verbena triphylla). I have not been able to find any. If anyone knows what this is or what is a good substitute, please let me know.

  2. Lemon leaves work well if you don't have a kafir lime tree.

  3. One quart is approximately 1200 ml.

That looks VERY impressive. I had dreamed up mint and cinnamon, and berry and cinnamon but hadn't thought of most of the others.  Great stuff. 

Yoorala  - do you think if we didn't have everything on that list, that we could just use some of them? for instance, I have mint, rosemary, basil and chamomile.


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