Our Native Ingredients - Lemon Myrtle

The “Queen of the Lemon Herbs”, Lemon Myrtle boasts an intensely citrus fragrance and flavour, and is a key ingredient in our Waterhole Native Citrus Tonic. Coupled with Finger Limes (and a few secret ingredients), it makes our Tonic Water an Australian Summer in a drink!  See Instragram’s @gintopiainoz for more! (1)

Lemon Myrtle is a beautiful Australian shrub that can grow up to 3 metres high with graceful hanging branches of soft green leaves. As Palisa Anderson (@palisaanderson) writes in the Guardian recently:

The flowers are stunning, like a May Gibbs illustration. They are endemic to the subtropical rainforests of northern New South Wales and south-east Queensland. I can’t seem to recall if she ever drew lemon myrtle, but you can imagine it would have fit in well among the gumnut babies with its glowing, creamy white-gold blossoms against striking, evergreen, apple-tinted leaves. The flowers always have a concentration of pollinator activity around, humming with life in the dry landscape. (2)

The medicinal benefits of Lemon Myrtle has been known for thousands of years. Sucking on them provided both hydration and a boost of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Lemon Myrtle has the highest of plant citral (>90%) (the compound of citrus fruits) and provides high sources of vegan calcium. It is rich in antioxidants, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, Lemon Myrtle has been known to be effective in easing the symptoms of everything from Sore Throats to Allergies to Acne to Headaches (amongst others).  So, not only drinking a Waterhole Tonic Water tastes great but is good for you (not scientifically proven *wink*).

Today, in cooking Lemon Myrtle is without a doubt the most popular of Australia’s native herbs, with its fresh fragrance of creamy lemon and lime. The leaves can be substituted for bay leaves, in marinades, soups, stews, casseroles and roasts. The flavour is intense, but used sparingly complements chicken, lamb, beef and kangaroo dishes beautifully.  And, of course, it can equally be used in sweet dishes and drinks like ice-cream, sorbet, teas and Waterhole Native Citrus Tonic.

Notes:

  1. Gintopia in Oz review (2021): https://www.instagram.com/p/CJvLMZOFUFN/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
  2. Palisa Anderson (2020) Super flower: lemon myrtle can clean, cook and makes great marshmallows in the Guardian at: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/dec/29/super-flower-lemon-myrtle-can-clean-cook-and-makes-great-marshmallows

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