Botanical: Mentha Pulegium (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Labiatae
This species of Mint, a native of most parts of Europe and parts of Asia, is the Pulegium of the Romans, so named by Pliny from its reputed power of driving away fleas - pulex being the Latin for flea, hence the Italian pulce and the French puce. This name given the plant in ancient times has been retained as its modern specific name. It is sometimes known to the country-people as 'Run by the Ground' and 'Lurk in the Ditch,' from its manner of growth.
It was formerly much used in medicine, the name Pennyroyal being a corruption of the old herbalists' name 'Pulioll-royall' (Pulegium regium), which we meet also in the Middle Ages as 'Piliole-rial.' It has been known to botanists since the time of Linnaeus as Mentha Pulegium.
One of its popular names is 'Pudding Grass,' from being formerly used in stuffings for hog's puddings ('grass' being, like 'wort,' a word simply meaning 'herb'). It is still used abroad in various culinary preparations.
A famous stuffing was once made of Pennyroyal, pepper and honey.
Harvesting---Pennyroyal is mostly sold in the dry state for making tea, the stems being cut when the plant is just about to flower and dried in the usual manner.
Constituents---The fresh herb yields about 1 per cent of a volatile oil, oil of Pulegium, a yellow or greenish-yellow liquid, obtained by distillation, and having a strong aromatic odour and taste. The chief constituent is ketone pulegone.
Born from the love for regional fruits and herbs, there's an old recipe almost forgotten by the older and wise menwith secrets of the Algarvian Barrocal. Producing from jams to fruits in syrup, honey and liqueurs, "A Farrobinha" became a sucessfull idea in South Portugal, varieties like Fennel liqueur, Fig, Loquat Seed, Acorn, Carob Bean, Viagreta and Pennyroyal are part of their portfolio of traditional handcrafted liqueurs.
Lost Poejo* by Mr. Próspero
1 1/4 oz Pennyroyal Liqueur
3/4 oz Irish Whisky
1/2 oz Fresh Cream
Mix all ingredients in a mixing glass and shake hard, then pour into a chilled Martini glass and decorate with nutmeg and pennyroyal.
South Portugal by Mr. PrósperoA white sugar cube soaked in pennyroyal liqueur, Black Bush Irish whisky and Violet syrup charged with Champagne.
Pear Drop Brullée by Mr. PrósperoHot pear purée gently mixed with vanilla infused Vodka, Pennyroyal liqueur and Vanilla syrup, served hot with a cinnamon stick and a whole clove.
Poejo Mai Tai by Mr.Próspero
3/4 oz Dark Rum
1/4 oz Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Orange Curaçao
1/2 oz Pennyroyal Liqueur
1 oz Fresh lime juice
Shake all ingredients and serve in a old-fashioned glass with crushed ice and pennyroyal.