Mallorca most traditional liqueurs have their origin in the medicinal concoctions which the apothecaries used to prepare in the 16th Century to fight against epidemics. Two of these are hierbas (herbs) and palo, which have a Denomination of Origin guarantee.The Majorcan ‘hierbas’ are made from a base of different herbs, which include more than 30 different kinds.
Fennel, rosemary, leaves of the orange and lemon tree, camomile and lemon balm are left to macerate during several months and the resulting concentrate is mixed, in small portions, with sweet anise, in order to produce the herbes dolces (sweet), and with dry anise for herbes seques (dry), with a higher alcohol content. Traditionally, these herbes are regarded as digestive and are drunk after eating. They can be drunk cold, with ice, or natural.
They are also delicious accompanied with orange or lemonade, although this is not very common on the islands.Palo was originally made using two plants, quinacalisaia (cinchona) and genciana (gentian) alcohol and sugar. This changed over the years though, and today burnt sugar is the secret of this liqueur. According to the connoisseurs, all palos are made with the same basic ingredients, but no two taste the same.
Unlike hierbas, palo is drunk as an aperitif before meals. It can be drunk neat, with ice, or with soda, the most popular way on the islands.
There are several factories on Majorca and that produce these liqueurs according to the local tradition handed down from their ancestors.
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