Rene Talks About Thyme
To put the following blog into context I thought I’d share with you a little bit about who I am! Along with being a co-founder of Mama’s Brew Shop, I’m also a nutritionist and medical herbalist. I’ve spent the last 15 years in the health and wellbeing space consulting as a natural fertility specialist. In the kitchen I’ve always had a keen interest in anything fermented but for years I’ve had a total fascination with kombucha brewing and flavouring it with botanicals. Turning my love for brewing into a business seemed like a natural progression, so when I met Liv, the other Mama and avid fermenter, the next steps seemed to developed naturally.
Developing the flavour combinations is one of my favourite things to do! My herbal training gave me a good sense of what worked and what didn’t and so when it came to formulating the botanicals for Warrior, our first flavour, the concept came to me really quickly.
The flavour combination has always been really popular, why is it such a hit? Warrior’s very specific blend of botanicals - lemongrass, ginger, thyme and turmeric - were selected for their refreshing, dry and crisp mouth feel effects, much like a cider, it’s very relatable and everyone loves it. One sip and you can taste the star of this flavour, Thymus Vulgaris. While the other botanicals are all beautifully represented, the dominant scent and taste is definitely the thyme. There’s nothing more refreshing than a tall glass of Warrior on a hot day served over ice with a sprig of thyme and a wedge of orange.
Thyme is a herb that is very dear to my heart. I have had the privilege over many years to be able to wild-craft this special herb in stunning Central Otago with master medical herbalist Sandra Clair of Artemis Herbal Medicine. When brewing and decocting thyme in the Mama’s brewery I’m always taken back to those years of being a herbal medicine student learning and wild crafting in the Southern Alps. The thyme flowers are a deep purple that give off quite a hypnotic feel after hours of harvesting. The flowers contain the essential oils thymol and carvacrol that, while harvesting, were absorbed through the skin and the lungs making my immune system feel boosted and strong.
Traditionally, thyme has been considered a remedy for common colds and is especially effective when used to treat coughs and sore throats. Thyme oil has been used for centuries in perfumery and liqueurs. In ancient Egyptian times it was used to wash corpses and burnt in sacred rituals to drive away evil spirits. Warriors in battle would receive a massage with thyme oil to increase their bravery!
The combination of botanicals in Warrior were chosen for their sophisticated flavour profiles but also for their their complementing actions. It’s also a great mixer! My favourite is Warrior mixed with a really good spiced rum.
Warrior - lemongrass, ginger, thyme, tumeric
Sandra Clair harvesting wild thyme in Central Otago