Spices

Spices offer a variety of ways to turn an ordinary beer into something unique and interesting. From anise to wattleseeds, a wide variety of typically pre-dried spices can be used to add different flavors, mouthfeel, to accent nearly any style of beer.
Also Known As Jamaica Pepper; Clove Pepper; Myrtle Pepper; Pimenta; Pimento; Newspice; Pepper Clover
Botanical Name Pimenta dioica
Family Myrtaceae (Myrtle family)
Synonyms Pimenta officinalis; Eugenia pimento DC
Used In Holiday and specialty beers
Primary Use impart flavors of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and juniper
Part(s) used Seed, ground and whole
Origin Native to the Caribbean Islands, specifically Jamaica, South America (Brazil, Leeward Isle), Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, Belize), and Mexico
Aroma Tastes like a combination of cinnamon and cloves but hotter with peppery notes
Taste/Flavor Native to deciduous forests of Europe, found in the U.S. in areas east of the Rocky Mountains

Allspice is the dried berry of the pimenta dioica tree, also known as the pimento tree or the Jamaican pepper. Botanically known as pimenta officinalis, allspice is native to Central and South America but it’s most closely associated with the West Indies island of Jamaica. Jamaica exports the majority of allspice for consumption around the world. Allspice takes its name from its aroma, which smells like a combination of spices, especially cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.

Also Known As Aniseed; Sweet Cumin; Common Anise
Botanical Name Pimpinella anisum L.
Family Apiaceae (Carrot family)
Synonyms Anisum vulgare
Used in Dark beers brewed with roasted malts
Used to Impart a spicy and sweet flavor, with aroma similar to black licorice
Part(s) used Fruit (Anise Fructus)
Origin Native to Persia, now cultivated in Turkey, Spain, Egypt, Mediterranean, Central America
Aroma sweet and fragrant
Taste/Flavor similar to fennel with a mild licorice taste

Anise bears a strong family resemblance to the members of the carrot
family, that includes dill, fennel, coriander, cumin and caraway. Many
of these relatives have been described as having a licorice flavor, to
some extent, but anise is the true taste of licorice— its oils are
distilled into the flavoring for licorice candy (not from the herb
licorice, which has a different taste).

Also Known As Carvies; Wild Cumin; Roman Cumin; Persian Caraway
Botanical Name Carum carvi L.
Family Umbelliferae (Parsley)
Synonyms Fructus Carvi
Used in Rye beers
Used to impart a spicy and sweet citrusy licorice flavor
Part(s) used Seed
Origin Northern Africa, the Mediterranean and much of Europe
Aroma a sweet warm aroma
Taste/Flavor similar to aniseed and fennel

Caraway has been found among Neolithic ruins of Europe, and in the Middle Ages, making it one of the oldest cultivated spices. Its leaves look like carrot leaves at the base, which become thin and feathery toward the top as it flowers in tufts of tiny white blossoms. The stems and leaves have a mild flavor similar to parsley. The roots have a sweet, parsnip flavor and can be cooked and eaten in a similar manner. It’s the seeds, however, that get the most attention.

Also Known As Cardamom; Mysore Cardamom; Cardamamus; Cardamom
Botanical Name Elettaria cardamomum L.
Family Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Synonyms Amomum ensal Raeusch; Amomum uncinatum Stokes; Cardamomum malabaricum Pritz; Zingiber minus Gaertn
Used in Belgian ales, stouts, porters, red ales, and strong flavored beers
Used to impart a ‘Spicy cola’ flavor, slightly sweet-floral and spicy with citrus elements
Part(s) used Fruit (Cardamomi fruits)
Origin Native of to India (Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Thailand, Sumatra, Guatemala
Aroma Intensely aromatic fragrance, citrus, bright, sandalwood, cinnamon
Taste/Flavor pungent, warm, earthy, spicy, bittersweet, with subtle citrus and anise

There are two types of cardamom. Green, or true , cardamom is aromatic,
sweet, and spicy. Black cardamom has a smokier aroma, with a coolness
some consider similar to mint. Green cardamom is one of the world’s most
expensive spices by weight, described simply as “exotic.” The fruits of
the plant are pods that contain the fragrant seeds, which are best
ground fresh, with or without the pods. Added at the end of the boil,
they can add complex but subtle flavors and the spiciness of ginger.

Also Known As Cassia Bark, Chinese Cassia, Chinese Cinnamon
Botanical Name Cinnamomum cassia L.
Family Lauraceae (laurel family)
Synonyms Cinnamomum aromaticum Nees
Used in Specialty Belgian and Holiday style beers
Used to impart a warm-tasting, spicy flavor and aroma
Part(s) used Stem, bark
Origin Native to southern Bangladesh, China, India, Uganda and Vietnam
Aroma Cinnamon like, toasty flavor
Taste/Flavor pungent, warm, earthy, spicy, bittersweet, with subtle citrus and anise

In North America, the most common spice labeled as ‘cinnamon’ is actually cassia, a similar spice also known as Chinese cinnamon. It is harvested from the bark of the Cinnamomum aromaticum tree. Cassia buds look a bit like cloves. The buds may be difficult to find, but are worth searching out. Nice in Christmas ales. With a deeper, richer taste than true cinnamon, cassia bark gives the familiar cinnamon toast flavor. Vietnamese is considered the highest grade.

Also Known As Batavian Cassia, Korintje
Botanical Name Cinnamomum zeylanicum Nees
Family Lauraceae (laurel family)
Synonyms Cinnamomum verum J. Presl
Used in Cider and winter style beers
Used to impart a sweet, spicy, slightly pungent flavor and aroma
Part(s) used Bark (Cinnamomi cortex)
Origin Native to Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), southeast & southwest, and the Tenasserim Hills of Burma
Aroma Cinnamon. Spicy-hot. Pungent, warm, appealing
Taste/Flavor Hot, cinnamon, warming, spicy

Cinnamon is harvested from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum verum
tree. It is also known as ‘Ceylon cinnamon,’ a reference to its native
country of Sri Lanka (which was formerly known as Ceylon). True
cinnamon, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, dates back in Chinese writings
to 2800 B.C., and is still known as kwai in the Cantonese language
today. Much of what is sold as cinnamon in the United States is imported
and actually made from cassia bark and not cinnamon.

Also Known As Lavanga
Botanical Name Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merrill & Perry
Family Myrtaceae (myrtle family)
Synonyms Caryophyllus aromaticus L.; Eugenia caryophyllus (Sprenk.)
Used in Spicy ales, Christmas beer, porters, mead, cider
Used to impart a sweet pungent, astringent, strong aroma and flavor
Part(s) used Flowers (Caryophylli flos)
Origin Cultivated in Tanzania, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and South America
Aroma a spicy, woody, burning, sweet, and musty aroma
Taste/Flavor sharp, bitter, and pungent with a numbing feeling

The word clove is from the Latin word for nail – clavus. The
Chinese wrote of cloves as early as 400 BCE, and there is a record
dating from 200 BC of courtiers keeping cloves in their mouths to avoid
offending the emperor while addressing him. Cloves are the immature
unopened flower buds of a tropical tree. When fresh, they are pink,
dried, they turn to a rust-brown color, and resemble small nails, with a
tapered stem. The large end of the clove is the four-pointed flower
bud.

Also Known As Chinese Parsley, Cilantro, Dizzycorn, Japanese Parsley
Botanical Name Coriandrum sativum L.
Family Apiaceae (carrot family)
Synonyms Caryophyllus aromaticus L.; Eugenia caryophyllus (Sprenk.)
Used in Spiced beers, Light beers, Belgian wheat beer, Hefeweizens
Used to impart a nutty and citrus flavor, lemony notes
Part(s) used Fruit (Coriandri fructus)
Origin Native to Asia, now cultivated in India, Middle East, Romania,
Morocco, Mexico, Argentina, U.S. (Kentucky), the Caribbean and Southeast
Asia
Aroma tart, cedar and floral-like undertones
Taste/Flavor sweet, spicy nutty flavor with a hint of bitter orange

One of the first European spices cultivated in America, coriander seldom
appeared in beer recipes until recently. The edible leaves are referred
to as cilantro when used fresh, and their aroma is particularly
divisive. Some taste it as a refreshing, lemony or lime-like flavor,
while others say it tastes like soap. Used in beer, the seeds may have a
similar effect. A recent study conducted by Boston Beer Company also
found that coriander contributes to perceived bitterness.

Also Known As Cuminum Cyminum, False Anise, Jeera, Comino, Zeera, Karmoun, Kammun
Botanical Name Coriandrum sativum L.
Family Apiaceae (carrot family)
Synonyms Cuminum odorum Salisb.
Used in Belgian wheat beer, Scottish ales, smoked beers
Used to impart a strong earthy, slightly bitter flavor
Part(s) used Fruit (Cumini fructus)
Origin Native to the Mediterranean
Aroma earthy aroma
Taste/Flavor distinct nutty-peppery, earthy flavor

Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the
parsley family (Apiaceae). Native from the east Mediterranean to India.
Its seeds (each one contained within a fruit, which is dried) are used
in the cuisines of many different cultures, in both whole and ground
form. In Indian cuisine these seeds are known as ‘jeera’.

Also Known As Finocchio; Sweet Anise
Botanical Name Foeniculum vulgare Mill.
Family Apiaceae (carrot family)
Synonyms Foeniculum officinale All.; Foeniculum capillaceum Gilib.; Anethum foeniculum L.
Used in various specialty beers
Used to impart an anise flavor
Part(s) used Bulb, leaves, seed
Origin Native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean area
Aroma Fennel with a hint of curry
Taste/Flavor sweet, mild, lightly spicy, anise

Foeniculum vulgare, called common fennel, is an upright,
branching perennial that is typically grown in vegetable and herb
gardens for its anise-flavored foliage and seeds, both of which are
commonly harvested for use in cooking. It somewhat resembles a very
large dill plant. It features feathery, compound, aromatic, yellow-green
leaves with needle-like segments and tiny yellow flowers in large,
flattened, compound umbels. Flowers bloom in mid- to late summer, and
are followed by aromatic seeds.

Also Known As Greek Hay, Greek Clover, Bird’s Foot, Foenugreek, Goat’s Horn
Botanical Name Trigonella foenum-graecum L.
Family Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms Trigonella balansae; Trigonella caerulea; Trigonella semen; Trigonella stellata
Used in maple flavored beers
Used to provide a base for imitation maple flavoring
Part(s) used seed
Origin Native to India and southern Europe
Aroma maple like notes
Taste/Flavor bitter, earthy, celery-like, with hints of maple and curry

Fenugreek is an annual plant in the Fabaceae family with leaves
consisting of three small oblong leaflets, that may have a single stem
or may be branched at the stem base. The plant has an erect growth habit
and a strong, sweet aroma, with leaves of the plant which are small and
trifoliate with oval leaflets that are green to purple in color. The
plant produces solitary pale white or purplish flowers and a straight or
occasionally curved yellow pod which houses the seeds. Between 10 and
20 seeds are produced per pod and they are small, smooth and brown, each
divided into two lobes.

Also Known As East Indian Pepper, Jamaica Ginger, Jamaica Pepper
Botanical Name Zingiber officinale Roscoe
Family Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Synonyms Amomum zingiber
Used in Holiday beers, Ginger beer, pale ale, porters, meads, ciders
Used to impart a sharp, spicy, hot and even mildly fruity flavor
Part(s) used Rhizome (Zingiberis rhizoma)
Origin Native to India and China
Aroma ginger like notes
Taste/Flavor Ginger, hot, spicy, sharp, peppery, slightly astringent

Ginger is a flowering plant that originated from China that belongs to
the Zingiberaceae family, and is closely related to turmeric, cardomon
and galangal. The rhizome (underground part of the stem) is the part
commonly used as a spice. It is often called ginger root, or just simply
ginger. The unique fragrance and flavor of ginger come from its natural
oils, the most important of which is gingerol. Ginger is a available
fresh or dried. It has a sharp, peppery, yet earthy flavor that can
easily dominate a beer.

Also Known As Guinea Grains, Melegueta Pepper, Paradise Grains, Grenes
Botanical Name Amomum melegueta (L.) Maton
Family Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Synonyms Amomum melegueta Roscoe
Used in Summer Beers, Belgian Specialties and Christmas Beers
Used to impart a peppery flavor with citrus notes, pine aroma
Part(s) used Seeds (Paradisi semen)
Origin Native to the swamplands of the West African coast
Aroma slight aroma similar to cardamom and clove
Taste/Flavor a cross between pepper, ginger, coriander, and cardamom

Grains of paradise is a West African spice, that is a relative of
cardamom. Once common in England as a beer seasoning as well as a
culinary one, that’s very potent, with a sharp white pepper taste with a
sprucy plywood aroma. Once a prized commodity, Grains of Paradise
received their name during the Middle Ages. The coast of West Africa
became known as the Grain Coast because Grains of Paradise were traded
there.

Also Known As Paradise Citrus; Pomelo
Botanical Name Citrus x paradisi Macfad.
Family Rutaceae (Rue family)
Synonyms Citrus × paradisi
Used in Witbier, Shandy, Radler, Ciders, Meads
Used to impart sweet and tangy citrus flavors
Part(s) used Peel, dried and cut
Origin Native to Barbados, spread to other Caribbean islands and Jamaica. Currently major producers, China, U.S. (Florida), and Mexico
Aroma robust citrus aroma
Taste/Flavor a bitter and slightly sweet flavor

Called the “forbidden fruit,” the tree that produces it—a hybrid
originating in Barbados as an accidental cross between sweet orange and
pomelo or shaddoc—recently became the citrus du jour, showing up in
Shandys and Radlers (themselves not new, but now Americanized), but also
complementing bold citrus aromas and flavors American hops impart. Used
in beers in which orange peel is more traditional, such as a Witbier,
the zest adds an interesting twist.

Also Known As Lemon Ironwood, Sand Verbena Myrtle, Sweet Verbena Tree, Tree Verbena
Botanical Name Backhousia citriodora
Family Myrtaceae (myrtle family)
Synonyms Backhousia citriodora F.Muell.
Used in Various beers
Used to impart a lemon like flavor
Part(s) used Leaves
Origin Native to coastal regions of Australia, now cultivated in South Africa, southern U.S. and southern Europe
Aroma refreshing creamy lemon-lime aroma
Taste/Flavor Lemony and tangy, with distinct lime zest notes

Lemon myrtle is a citrus-fragranced spice that is native to coastal
regions of Australia. It has been described as “more lemon than lemon”.
Lemon myrtle has been growing wild in the coastal areas of New South
Wales, Victoria and South Australia for many thousands of years. When
lemon myrtle was identified and classified, the botanical name
Backhousia, was given to this species after a Yorkshire nurseryman,
James Backhouse.

Also Known As Citrus Medica; Citrus Limonum; Citronnier; Neemoo; Leemoo; Limoun; Limone
Botanical Name Limon ×; Citrus ×
Family Rutaceae (Rue family)
Synonyms Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f.; Citrus x limon (L.) Osbeck.
Used in Summertime beers, IPA’s and Wheat beers
Used to impart a sweet and tangy citrus flavor
Part(s) used Peel, dehydrated lemon zest
Origin Native to Assan (Northeast India), now widely cultivated in Mediterranean countries
Aroma Lemon, citrusy
Taste/Flavor sharp citrus tartness with sweet-sour notes

Lemon peel is obtained from the rind of lemons. There is intense lemon
flavor in the peel because this is where the fruit’s volatile oils
reside, which concentrate when the peel is dried. The familiar lemon
fruit is an ovoid berry, meaning it is egg-shaped with a more pointed
end and nipple on one side. Lemons are generally smooth, bright yellow,
indented over the oil-glands, and have an acidic, pale yellow pulp.
About forty-seven varieties of lemon are believed to have been developed
during its centuries of cultivation.

Also Known As Sweet Root; Liquorice; Lacris; Reglisse; Lacrosse, Regolizia; Sweetwood
Botanical Name Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Family Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms Glycyrrhiza glandulifera
Used in dark Belgian ales, porters, stouts and dark ales
Used to enhance head retention while imparting a note of sweetness
Part(s) used Dried Root
Origin Native to southern Europe and parts of Asia
Aroma warm, spicy, anise like aroma, green, herbaceous
Taste/Flavor sweet, initially bitter aftertaste, with strong anise notes

Licorice is a member of the pea family that is native to Asia and was
introduced to Europe by Dominican friars in the 15th century. The plant
is harvested for its stolon-like roots, which harbor the compound
glycyrrhizin, a compound that is up to 50 times sweeter than table
sugar. While there are roughly two dozen species of licorice distributed
throughout its native range, Glycyrrhiza glabra is specific to Europe
where, with the exception of Scandinavia, it’s commonly found in open
pastures and other undisturbed places.

Also Known As Brewers Licorice, Blackroot, Liquorice
Botanical Name Glycyrrhiza glabra L.
Family Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms Glycyrrhiza glandulifera
Used in Dark beer, porters, stouts, also Doppelbocks, Belgian dark strong ales
Used to impart an intense licorice character
Part(s) used Processed form of licorice root, made especially for brewing
Origin Native to southern Europe and parts of Asia
Aroma light anise like aroma
Taste/Flavor Sweet with faint flavor of licorice

Licorice sticks are a processed form of licorice, made especially for
brewing. Licorice has a high sweetness index, and can add sweetness and
body in addition to the licorice flavor. Stick licorice is made by
crushing and grinding licorice roots to a pulp, which is then boiled in
water over an open fire. The solution is separated from the solid
residue of the root by evaporation until a sufficient degree of
concentration is attained. After cooling the licorice is rolled into the
form of sticks or other shapes as needed for the market.

Also Known As Limette, Italian Limetta, Adam’s Apple, Kaffir lime, Makrut lime
Botanical Name Citrus x aurantifolia
Family Rutaceae (Rue family)
Synonyms Citrus x latiolia,Citrus hystrix (kaffir lime)
Used in Various
Used to impart a sweet and tangy citrus flavor
Part(s) used Dried peel
Origin Native to Southeast Asia, now cultivated in Thailand, Malaysia, Southeast Asia
Aroma Fresh and pleasant lime aroma
Taste/Flavor sharp citrus tartness with subtle bitterness

Compared to the Persian lime (Citrus x latiolia), the key lime
is smaller and seedier, with a higher acidity, a stronger aroma, and a
thinner rind. It is valued for its unique flavor compared to other
limes, with the Key lime usually having a more tart and bitter flavor.
Though the tree is native to southeast Asia, its name comes from its
association with the Florida Keys, where it is best known as the
flavoring ingredient in Key lime pie.

Also Known As Blade mace
Botanical Name Myristica fragrans Houtt.
Family Myristicaceae (Nutmeg family)
Synonyms Myristica officinalis L. f.
Used in Holiday beers
Used to impart a more pungent and spicier flavor than nutmeg
Part(s) used Nut shell covering, the aril
Origin Native to Banda Islands (Indonesia), now cultivated in Grenada, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Madagascar, Indonesia
Aroma sweet and fragrant, similar to nutmeg, but stronger
Taste/Flavor Warm. sharp and aromatic, more intense and slightly sweeter than nutmeg

The nutmeg tree is a native of the Banda Islands, a cluster of small
volcanic islands historically known as the Spice Islands and now part of
the province of Molucca in Indonesia. Mace is the aril (the bright red,
lacy covering) of the nutmeg seed shell. The mace is removed from the
shell and its broken parts are known as blades. Because the yield of
mace is much less than nutmeg’s it has had greater value. A pile of
fruit large enough to make one hundred pounds of nutmeg produces a
single pound of mace.

Also Known As Peppermint, Mentha balsamea; Brandy mint
Botanical Name Mentha x piperita L.
Family Lamiaceae (mint family)
Synonyms Mentha crispa L.; Mentha dumetorum Schult; Mentha X piperita var. piperita L.; Mentha aquatica var. crispa (L.) Benth.
Used in Porters, Stouts, and holiday beers
Used to impart a clean, fresh peppermint aroma
Part(s) used Leaves
Origin Native to the Northern Mediterranean, now cultivated world wide
Aroma familiar minty peppermint aroma
Taste/Flavor refreshing zing of fresh peppermint

Peppermint is arguably the matriarch of the mint family, which is a bit
odd as peppermint is technically a hybrid of spearmint and watermint.
Peppermint escaped into the wild millenniums ago and now grows wild in
North America and Europe, though it needs to grow close to its parent
species, as it cannot reproduce with other peppermint plants. Peppermint
has a warm and spicy mint flavor and is the traditional mint used for
flavoring candies and chocolates.

Also Known As Mint; Bush Mint; Menthol; Garden Mint
Botanical Name Mentha Spicata
Family Lamiaceae (mint family)
Synonyms Mentha longifolia auct. non (L.) Huds.; Mentha cordifolia Lej. & Courtois auct.; Mentha viridis L.; Mentha sylvestris L.; Mentha longifolia var. mollissima (Borkh.) Rouy; Mentha longifolia var. undulata (Willd.) Fiori; Mentha spicata var. longifolia L.; Mentha spicata var. spicata L.
Used in Porters, Stouts, and holiday beers
Used to impart a cool, fresh minty aroma
Part(s) used Leaves
Origin Native to Northern Africa and the Mediterranean, now cultivated world wide
Aroma cool spearmint aroma
Taste/Flavor refreshing spearmint

Mentha spicata, commonly known as spearmint, is a herbaceous rhizomatous
perennial plant of the Lamiaceae family, that originates from much of
Europe. These herbs were introduced into North America in the late
1500’s. Spearmint is like most mints and has a variety of culinary and
practical uses. The leaf, fresh or dried, is used to flavor beverages,
most notably the mint julep cocktail and the sweet tea enjoyed in summer
in the southern U.S.

Also Known As Mulling
Botanical Name
Family
Synonyms
Used in Spiced beers and Cider
Used to impart a warm-tasting, spicy flavor and aroma
Part(s) used Various. Spice mixture
Origin Native to Southeast Asia, now cultivated in Thailand, Malaysia, Southeast Asia
Aroma sweet spicy aroma
Taste/Flavor cinnamon, cloves, and other spices

Mulling is an ancient practice that dates to 2nd century Rome, when wine was heated and infused with various spices. As the Romans traveled across Europe, mulled wine was introduced to the people, who embraced the beverage that eventually came to be known as wassail. It was especially popular in medieval England during the winter months, although mulling spices were used to flavor beer and cider as well as wine. Most mulling spices contain the same main ingredients Cinnamon Chips, Orange Peel, Allspice, and Cloves. Various commercial mixes can contain one or several additional spices including: Cassia Chips, Cardamom Pods, Ginger, Mace, Nutmeg, Peppercorn, Star Anise, and Vanilla.

Also Known As Myristica
Botanical Name Myristica fragrans Houtt.
Family Myristicaceae (Nutmeg family)
Synonyms Myristica moschata, Myristica officinalis L.
Used in Holiday beers
Used to enhance other flavors
Part(s) used Seed
Origin Native to the Banda Islands (or Spice Islands) of Indonesia
Aroma warm, aromatic and deeply woodsy
Taste/Flavor camphor and clove

Nutmeg is the fruit of a tropical tree native to the Banda Islands (or
Spice Islands) of Indonesia. Like a plum or peach, the fruit contains a
hard seed at its center, and it’s this seed that gives us the
scrumptious, powerful spice we call nutmeg. The nutmeg shell is covered
with a red webbed coating, an aril or placenta—this is mace, another
spice entirely with distinct uses in cooking. The spice has a
distinctive pungent fragrance and a warm slightly sweet taste; it is
used as a flavoring.

Also Known As Cabbage Rose, Hundred-Leafed Rose, French Rose, Damask Rose
Botanical Name Rosa gallica & Rosa centifolia
Family Rosaceae (rose family)
Synonyms Rosa damascena Mill., Rosa gallica L., and vars. of these spp.
Used in Witbier, wheats, and other ales
Used to Impart a sweet floral flavor, or pepper notes depending on variety
Part(s) used Petals
Origin Native to Asia, now cultivated worldwide
Aroma Sweet, perfumy, floral rose notes, with additional aromas depending on variety
Taste/Flavor sweet and floral, with fruit, mint, or spice, depending on variety

Just about all species of rose can be used, but the common decorative
varieties cultivated for appearance in the garden frequently have
lighter flavors and scents than those older varieties that haven’t
suffered so from crossbreeding. For the spice trade, tiny “tea roses”
are harvested and have their petals separated from their unpleasantly
hard, bitter cores. Other commercial processes extract the flavors into
water with steam to make the “rose water” sold commonly in Arabic and
Indian markets. Rose is also infused into a multitude of drinks in India
and the Middle East. From teas to colas, any number of concoctions take
on the dry floral character, getting as much help from the aroma as
from the taste.

Also Known As Anise Stars, Badain, Badiana, Chinese Anise
Botanical Name Illicium verum
Family Illiciaceae (Star-anise family)
Synonyms Illicium verum Hook. f.
Used in specialty beers
Used to Imparts a flavor similar to black licorice
Part(s) used Fruit
Origin Native to China, Vietnam, now grown almost exclusively in southern China, Indo-China, and Japan
Aroma Anise, black licorice, complex
Taste/Flavor pungent, sweet, intensely anise-like, with cloves and cassia notes

Star anise is a star-shaped spice is the fruit of an evergreen magnolia tree native to China and Vietnam. While it looks like a delicate sculpted ornament—a star with eight points cradling glossy, brown seeds—star anise offers pungent, warm flavor. Its strong anise essence ties it to similarly flavored spices, like anise and fennel, but it’s related to neither.

Also Known As Elm-leafed Sumac, Sicilian Sumac, Sumach, Sumak, Summak, Tanner’s Sumach
Botanical Name Rhus coriaria
Family Anacardiaceae (Cashew family)
Synonyms Rhus typhina; Rhus glabra; Rhus aromatica
Used in various beers
Used to imparts a reddish color and lively lemon character
Part(s) used Sap, leaves
Origin Native to the Mediterranean areas, Sicily, southern Italy, and parts of the Middle East
Aroma Slightly aromatic
Taste/Flavor tart, fruity, tangy, with a hint of lemon

The small trees grow over much of the United States, although it is known by other names, such as squawbush, in other regions. Traditionally, the fruits, called drupes, were ground into a reddish-purple powder that is lemony and spicy. Leaving the seeds in during grinding will add a slight bitterness to the powder. The drupes were also used to make “Indian lemonade” (or “sumac-ade”). They are simply soaked in cool water, with sugar added to taste.

Also Known As Indian Date
Botanical Name Tamarindus indica L.
Family Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms Tamarindus occidentalis Gaertn.
Used in pale beer brown beer
Used to to provide pop in a darker brown beer
Part(s) used Pods
Origin Native to tropical east Africa, now cultivated in India
Aroma a slightly fruity aroma
Taste/Flavor tart, acidic, fruity, sweet with a refreshing sour taste

Tamarind is one of the great trees of the tropics. Its feathery foliage is common from Senegal to Singapore, Suriname to Samoa. Everywhere it grows, people enjoy the curiously sweet-sour pulp found inside its brittle, gray or cinnamon-brown seedpods of a large evergreen tree. When ripe, the pulp is removed from its brittle pod and molded into blocks or slabs, sometimes with its fibers and seeds still included. It is one of the ingredients of Worcestershire sauce and Angostura bitters.

Also Known As Mandarin
Botanical Name Citrus Tangerina Pericarpium
Family Rutaceae (Rue family)
Synonyms Citrus reticulata
Used in Summertime beers, Belgian wits, IPAs and Saisons
Used to impart fresh citric notes
Part(s) used Peel (pericarp)
Origin Native to Asia, now cultivated in virtually every country
Aroma aromatic and has a slightly sweet flavor
Taste/Flavor sweet orange

Tangerines are a type of citrus plant whose genus of flowering plants is in the family Rutaceae (orange family). Technically, however, the tangerine is actually a subgroup of the larger mandarin group, Citrus reticulara. There are 14 different varieties and hybrids of Mandarin oranges, and they are believed to have descended from wild oranges that grew in northeast India as long as 3,000 years ago. These early Mandarin oranges were carried by travelers to China, and from there eventually made their way into Europe, North Africa and Australia. The term tangerine and mandarin are often used interchangeably, but ‘tangerine’ is a widely accepted culinary term, but is not an actual botanical
classification.

Also Known As Yellow Ginger, Alleppey Turmeric, Indian Saffron, Madras Turmeric
Botanical Name Curcuma domestica
Family Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Synonyms Curcuma aromatica, Curcuma longa
Used in various beers
Used to impart mild pepper notes
Part(s) used Rhizome (root)
Origin Native to South and Southeast Asia; Now cultivated in India
(Alleppey and Madras), Sri Lanka, Java, Malaysia, China, Peru, and
Jamaica
Aroma fragrant musky and earthy aroma
Taste/Flavor fresh warm, earthy, with citrus; dried pungent, warm, earthy, musky, slightly bitter

The name turmeric comes from the Latin terra merita, meaning deserving earth. The use of turmeric dates back to 1500 BC when turmeric was mentioned as haridra in the Vedas, the sacred scriptures of the Hindus. Turmeric is a rhizome with a brownish yellow skin and a bright yellowish orange interior. It is cured (boiled or steamed) to intensify its aroma and color, then dried and sold whole or ground into powder. It is used fresh (chopped, grated, cut) and dried (whole or powder).

Also Known As Bourbon Vanilla, Mexican Vanilla, Tahiti Vanilla, Reunion Vanilla
Botanical Name Vanilla planifolia Andr.
Family Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms Vanilla fragrans (Sailsb.) Ames
Used in Porters, Stouts and other dark ales
Used to provide hint of vanilla flavor, and to mask other flavors, and unwanted fermentation characteristics
Part(s) used Beans
Origin Primarily cultivated in Madagascar, Mexico and Tahiti
Aroma Vanilla, sweet, full, penetrating
Taste/Flavor Vanilla, soft but strong, not bitter

Vanilla is derived from the beautiful orchid and is expensive, due to its complicated and rigorous growing, drying, and curing processes. Vanilla seedpods, or “beans,” are long, thin, and green when fresh. They’re also odorless and flavorless, only developing their vanilla essence while curing, which stimulates the production of vanillin. Cured vanilla beans appear dried, wrinkly, and dark brown, and they carry the distinct sweet aroma of vanilla. Sliced open lengthwise, they’ll reveal their tiny, flavorful seeds. Vanilla extract is made by soaking beans in alcohol, the extract varies widely, but the best by far is ‘pure vanilla extract,’ with 35 percent alcohol.

Also Known As Mulga, Coastal Wattle, Gundabluey Watle, Wirilda, Golden Wattle
Botanical Name Acacia victoriae
Family Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms Acacia aneuro
Used in Herbed/Spiced beers
Used to impart a coffee-like flavor
Part(s) used Roasted seeds
Origin Native to Australia, Africa, Asia and America
Aroma nutty, roasted coffee aroma, with touches of sweet spice, raisins and chocolate
Taste/Flavor savory, nutty, wheat-biscuit, coffee flavor

Wattleseed is a nutritious roasted grain (acacia seeds) which boasts an amazing coffee, chocolate, hazelnut flavour which can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Wattleseed has to be the unsung hero of the Australian Native Food industry. The Acacias with their enormous diversity of species and forms cover the length and breadth of the Australian continent. Although not all Acacias are suitable for human consumption, they have been a mainstay in the diet of Indigenous Australians for thousands of years. The wattle flower is the well known emblem of Australia, and is represented in the green and gold worn by Australian athletes.