How much ingredient is used in macerating herbs?

This is the one question that has plagued me throughout my experiments and I have to admit that I am still experimenting with this. I purchased exactly one ounce of every herb or root I was going to use, but began every batch of amaro macerating only 1 teaspoon or tablespoon of each ingredient. While this has produced some very nice amari, the process hasn’t been entirely organic. I’ve ended up having to play doctor with the resulting infusion, by adjusting flavors with tinctures I’ve made (from the same ingredients). In a year, I’ve made 8 batches of amaro, producing as much as ten 375ml bottles per batch, but I still have much of the herbs from my original purchase sitting in my cabinet. Reflecting on that, it just doesn’t seem right, does it?

Most of the herbal components of these amari aren’t that cost-prohibitive and I suppose there is a strong argument to be made about freshness. So why not use the entire ounce of each herb for your creation and buy new herbs to replenish them for the next? Why not, indeed?

The one lesson I’ve learned is that if your resulting infusion is so overpowering and strong, you have no prohibitions against diluting it with a nice neutral vodka (or diluted grain spirits of a concentration that matches your desired concentration) and additional sweetener. If the flavor is off because one herb was too overpowering, compensate with the addition of some of the other herbs to balance it out. The cold, hard (and comforting fact) is that no resultant flavor is a throwaway. You can always compensate, and often discover a concoction that is not only amazing and unique, but provides some education on the marrying of different components.

I will nail the answer to this question down in a subsequent post.

Good luck!

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