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06

Herbs

Ibiza is known for its proliferation of wild herbs, many of which now grow in La Granja’s herb garden. One of the best-loved and most frequently visited parts of the farm, it provides a constant supply of herbs for the kitchen and beyond. A few years ago, chef José Catrimán began using the herbs to make his own interpretation of Hierbas, a traditional Balearic aniseed liqueur made by extracting aromas of various plants that has its roots in monastic traditions dating back to the Middle Ages.

The process begins with the harvesting of a variety of Ibizan herbs, including chamomile, lemon verbena, orange and lemon leaves, a native wild thyme called fregola, oregano, sage, a wild mint called hierbabuena and even lemongrass.

“This is my touch,” says José. “I put lemongrass in there and fennel flower, which gives a lot of flavor as well,” says the Patagonian chef, who also breaks from tradition when it comes to the alcohol he uses. “Usually hierbas is so sweet, because they use this aniseed liquor,” he explains. “But I like something more bitter.”

Chef José Catrimán, master of Hierbas

So he started to experiment with different gins and other alcohol, adding macerated herbs and letting it sit for months. “I really found my recipe when I started to mix it with mezcal,” says José, who also mixes some sweet and dry aniseed liquor into his recipe.

01
Ibiza is known for its proliferation of wild herbs, many of which now grow in La Granja’s herb garden.
02
Chamomile, lemon verbena, orange and lemon leaves, a native wild thyme called fregola, oregano, sage, a wild mint called hierbabuena and even lemongrass go into José's Hierbas.
03
Ibizan herbs are famed for their medical, spiritual and even magical properties.
04
“It’s beautiful because there's this tradition on the island for the beginning of the summer," said José, who moved to Ibiza from Patagonia, where he was born and raised.
05
"They make this special Hierbas de San Juan and there are all these rituals around the alcohol," he added. First brewed in a simple medicinal form by monks in the Middle Ages, it began to be produced as a recreational drink in the 1800s.
06
The mixing process, said José, can be done in a single morning, but then the proto-Hierbas must be stored in a dark, dry place for a three-month marination period during which the liquid changes from pale yellow to a deep brown.
07
“La Granja has this beautiful mezcal bar, and the way I do Hierbas, it has this smoky touch with the mezcal and the juniper we harvest in April," said José. "Every time I try to change just a little with another kind of skin, skin of pomegranate or lemon, to give it some more acid flavor,” he says.
08
"All the properties for the rest of the year are contained in this bottle that’s then offered to people all over the island," said José.“ We put it on the tables, and then after we close for the season, the guys start to drink it,” said José. “The people really love it.”

Encyclopedia

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Avocado

  • Originated in south-central Mexico
  • May help to ward off cancer and inflammation and assist digestion and heart health
  • Harvested from late spring to early fall
  • 4-7 years seed to harvest

Chili

  • Originated in Mexico
  • May help promote weight loss and relieve pain
  • Grown in summer
  • 60-95 days seed to harvest

Carrot

  • Originated in Persia
  • Improves health of eyes, skin, hair, growth, and immune system
  • Grown year round
  • 60-80 days seed to harvest
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  • 05
  • 06

Eggplant

  • Originated in southern Asia
  • Strengthens bones, reduces symptoms of anemia, improves cognition and cardiovascular health, protects the digestive system
  • Grown in summer
  • 100-150 days seed to harvest

Greens

  • A great source of beneficial plant compounds like antioxidants and polyphenols
  • Strengthens heart health, lowers risk for numerous chronic diseases
  • Grown year round
  • 2-3 weeks seed to harvest

Herbs

  • Rich with unique antioxidants, organic compounds, essential oils, vitamins and phytosterols
  • Antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Thought to strengthen immunity and reduce risk of various diseases
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Long bean

  • Originated in Peru
  • Contains vitamins A, C, K, folic acid and fiber
  • Supports brain health, repairs cell damage and strengthens bones
  • Grown in summer
  • 50-55 days seed to harvest

Lavender

  • Originated in the Mediterranean and Middle East
  • Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, can help heal minor burns and insect bites
  • Grown in summer
  • 14-21 days from seed to harvest

Pepper

  • Originated in the Americas
  • Improves eye health and reduces risk of cancer, anemia and heart disease
  • Grown late spring to early fall
  • 60-90 days seed to harvest
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Strawberry

  • Originated in the Americas
  • Contributes to skin and hair health, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • Grown in spring
  • 5 months to a year or more seed to harvest

Tomatoes

  • Originated in the South American Andes
  • Improves heart and skin health, may prevent cancer and other diseases
  • Grown late spring to summer
  • 60-80 days or more seed to harvest

Watermelon

  • Originated in Africa
  • Improves heart and eye health, lowers inflammation, assists with digestion and hydration
  • Grown in summer
  • 80 days seed to harvest
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