Alcohol has been produced in the Lithuanian manor of Pakruojis since the 17th century. However, production was on a long hiatus until the distillery was reopened in 2018. The distillery in the small village of Pakruojis in northern Lithuania is one of the few craft distilleries in Lithuania. They still have old distillery vehicles including wood-fired copper pans. They currently have 10 different products that come with quite original and interesting contents. Or what does a schnapps made of beetroot and truffles sound like? Or a bacon smoked schnapps?
Artemisia Vulgaris, or mugwort, belongs to the same family as wormwood and is the main ingredient in this herbal bitter. Other herbs include sage, thyme, lemon balm, mint, hyssop and muskrat root, also known as Lithuanian ginseng. All the herbs used either grow in the manor’s garden or have been collected from the wilderness around the manor’s premises. No sugar has been added, all the sweetness comes from the herbs and the flowers themselves. In addition to Lithuania, Pakruojo’s products are available at least in Latvia and a few other countries. A 20cl bottle of Artemisia Vulgaris costs about 10€ in Lithuania.
The aroma is pleasantly herbal and slightly honeyed. The taste is dry, strong and rather bitter. It’s like a trip to a summer meadow. Mugwort is predominant in taste, but thyme and hyssop are also recognizable. The bitterness of the mugwort or muskrat root exists and indeed has a spicy burn like ginseng or ginger. The taste is very pleasant and suitably bitter when sipping neat. Alcohol heats and bites once sharply, but quickly passes by. Although there is no added sugar, it is still a little sweet and not too sharp. The aroma of mugwort, thyme and other herbs stays in the mouth for a long time. Pakruojo Artemisia Vulgaris is very well made. It has a strong herbal and aromatic bitter taste, which can only be encountered in artisanal products. It is well suited for a digestive after a dinner and it can also be used to flavor cocktails. Even a small amount is enough to give the drink an slightly exotic herbal taste. Very good, original and interesting digestive bitter.