hist-brewing: Ledum Palustre Found!

OxladeMac at aol.com OxladeMac at aol.com
Mon Apr 3 19:19:49 PDT 2000

Ok, several months ago there was a big discussion of this list about Ledum 
Palustre  (wild/marsh rosemary) being the third ingredient in the trio of 
herbs used in gruit.  This was a revelation to me at the time - I had to be 
educated that it was not regular rosemary, but a different plant entirely.  
Then we all lamented for a while on where to find the herb until one kindly 
gentleman finally told us all that we could get it from, oddly enough, LD 
Carlson.  Well, after several months of waiting for my supplier to special 
order the stuff and ship it out to me, I finally have some of it.

"Ha Ha!"  I thought.  "Gruit ales shall be mine at last!"

Then my lady, a studious type with whose "hobby" is researching, asked me how 
I "knew" that it was wild rosemary and not regular rosemary that was used.  
What sources did I have?  Where was my research?  She reminded me of the 
dangers in third or fourth hand scholarship (quoting other peoples quotes of 
quotes, ect...)  Where were the _original_ sources?

Umm, errr, all I could put my hand on was Buhner's book.  I was embarrassed - 
for this is far from what I would call a reliable source.

So, to the list, and to all those who lust to make a "real" gruit ale, how do 
we know that it was wild rosemary (ledum palustre) that was used, and not 
common rosemary?  Where are the sources?  The _original_ sources?

By the way, if you are still looking for a source of the herb, you can 
contact vtbrew at together.net to order some.  It took me several weeks to get 
it, and it was kind of expensive, but they will be glad to help you.  It 
looks like regular rosemary, but has an entirely different smell.  I am 
looking forward to trying some gruit mixtures with it, perhaps as early as 
next week.  Anyone ahead of me?  If so, how are they turning out?


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