Homemade Melissa Liqueur (Rix) Recipe

From correspondent David Rix:

Another herb liqueur recipe using Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis). This is a fairly common ingredient in teas and is characterised by its wonderful strong and sweet ‘lemon’ scent. In this case a striking (and strong) drink can be made ultra-simply by just loosely filling a bottle with dried leaves and just 1/2-1 table spoon of sugar and steeping in the pure spirit for 2 weeks to a month, straining then aging for a couple of months. It is now infused by an extraordinary pungent flavour like lemon but different to lemon - and also turns a beautiful rich and improbable green that you would swear was a dye.

Obviously this still packs almost the strength of the original spirit, which, depending on the base used, can be mouthburningly strong. If you want it sweeter then just add more sugar or sugar syrup. I reckon that this would work as sweet as you want it. My first attempt at this used Slovenian Grappa, a very powerful grape spirit, as base. I can see this working extremely well with gin though, and also a good quality vodka could also serve.

Units of measurement (unless stated otherwise)
1 cup = 8 ounces = 236ml
1 quart = 32 ounces = 944ml
1 tbsp (tablespoon) = 1/2 ounce = 15ml
1 fifth = 25.6 ounces = 750ml
1 tsp (teaspoon) = 1/6 ounce = 5ml
1 pint = 16 ounces = 472ml

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