Ilex paraguariensis green herbal juice
Apart from its primary taste note that is unmistakably grassy: Maté has an acrid, smokey and mildly astringent taste. If you can taste beyond its “grassiness” then you might be able to notice some deeper taste profiles, from chocolate and cherry to vanilla and honey. But also hay-like (toasted hay), dried grass, green leaves, malt, tobacco and leather.
Infusing mate in fruit juice will bestow them a welcome herbaceous note and a grown up flavour. It works well with citrus juices like lime, orange, lemon, grapefruit and the more exotic ones. Infuse it in lemonade or tropical fruit juices like mango, pineapple, passion fruit. It matches well the grassy vanilla notes of freshly squeezed sugarcane juice, perfect with the zest and juice of lime. Green mate blends well with Peppermint, Spearmint, Lemon balm, Lemon verbena, Lemongrass.Traditionally it was customary to ingest medicinal herbs in combination with mate tea. Try it with lemon balm, passion flower, saffron, linden blossom, holy basil and rooibos (green and red).
Yerba mate has been used as a consciousness expanding stimulant and has long been taken for its psychoactive, even psychedelic properties, which are said to result in a change in perception, a new way of thinking. Even a different world view. Did Che concoct a revolution in a mate gourd? Who knows. But if any of the leafy stimulants could be behind a South American revolution, it would be mate, the caffeinated plant which traditionally has always been communal - passed around in its drinking gourd along with ideas, and arguably drunk to enhance them. Shamans drank excessive amount of it to enter psychedelic trance-like states, but at a more daily, lower level, it is a perfectly manageable agent of increased pleasure - one for gigs, house parties and, revolutions.
1 unwaxed lime or lemon
5 g or a handful of fresh mint leaves
a couple of sprigs of tarragon
a few sprigs of chervil (optional)
3 borage leaves (optional)
6 cm or a third of organic cucumber
10 g of caster sugar
5 g or a heaped tsp of dried yerba maté leaves
Zest the lemons and crush with the crystallised sugar into a fragrant pulp.
Once you have a oily texture with the uplifting limonene terpenes filling your nostrils start adding the fresh leaves of mint, tarragon and basil/dill/chervil/anise hyssop or borage. Crush until you have a deep green paste. Once you’re there, take a few moments to inhale the aromatic paste full of herbal notes. How uplifting scents can be eh?
If on hand, grate a piece of cucumber with skin on and add to the paste.
Pound the whole mix a little more.
Crush the mint leaves with the sugar, and lime or lemon zest to form a smooth paste.
Take your time to smell the aroma of that mixture.
Let it rest for 5-10 minutes to get the oils to come out.
Add the finely chopped cucumber (peel on) and crush into that mixture.
Add 1/3 cup of boiling water to the mix and blend with the pestle.
Add the yerba mate and let it bloom. Smell. Add another 1/3 cup of boiling water and let infuse for at least 5 minutes Filter the whole mixture through a sieve straight onto crushed ice.
Add lime or lemon juice to adjust for acidity.
Stir well, to have the drink ice cold and well blended. Enjoy straight away