Iconic Ibiza food: hierbas — a guide to our favourite chupito

One Ibiza’s best-loved drinks is hierbas Ibicencas. Made from a base of sweet and dry anisette liqueurs and infused with local wild herbs, this sweet, pungent alcoholic beverage is most often enjoyed as a chupito (shot) after a meal. It has a distinctive flavour that is the essence of Ibiza for many residents and visitors alike. Here are a half-a-dozen fun reasons to get better acquainted with this unique Ibiza drink!

Reduces your carbon footprint:

You care about the beautiful island of Ibiza and about our planet. Just think about all the packaging and fossil fuel required to get a single bottle of wine, spirits or beer to the island. When you think about it, you are polluting the atmosphere with every single sip. Hierbas Ibicencas, in contrast must, by law, be made on Ibiza. That means drinking hierbas cuts your carbon footprint down to a tiny little imprint, hardly visible!

Enhances social situations:

Whether on holiday or out with friends having a drink or two is the perfect way to relax and create a happy vibe. The problem is that it is very easy to overdo it, especially when it’s hot and you’re thirsty! Drinking hierbas on ice is a great way to enjoy a social occasion without getting too tipsy, because it is much lighter in alcohol than spirits and the unique herbal taste makes for a satisfying sip.

Saves water:

We all know what is a precious resource in Ibiza. Not to mention that bottled water has to be shipped to the island which is expensive and bad for the environment. Sipping on a little glass of ice cold hierbas is a pleasant, refreshing way to quench your thirst. Though of course, please don’t entirely replace water with hierbas! There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Encourages hospitality:

Many restaurants offer guests a chupito de hierbas on the house, at the end of the meal. This is a lovely hospitable tradition that is a chance for restauranteurs to say “thank you” to their customers and for visitors to enjoy a taste of Ibiza tradition. Please don’t discourage your friendly waiter by turning down the offer of a nice hierbas!

Improves well-being:

According to tradition, hierbas is a great aid to digestion. We are not medical experts so we can’t make any claims. However, we can say that many of the herbs used in hierbas such as anise and rosemary have long been cherished for their positive influence on digestion and general well-being. Our advice is simply to see for yourself. Have a chupito after your meal. If you enjoy it, that’s good enough!

Preserves ancient traditions:

Hierbas recipes are often closely guarded family secrets. By drinking it, you help preserve the heritage and traditions that go into each batch. When you sample hierbas from different restaurants and bars you soon note subtle differences. Some are sweeter, some more pungent, some lighter. If you find one you like, buy a bottle, because it may be one of a kind!

What’s your favourite place to drink hierbas in Ibiza? Tweet @IbizaEyes

About Cila Warncke

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