Exact ratios of herbs to alcohol for tinctures
To determine the potency of your tincture (to know how much you are taking), weigh your herbs and add a specific amount of alcohol. Standard ratios are 1:2 (one part herb to two parts solvent) for fresh herbs and 1:5 for dried herbs.
So a 1:5 tincture means that for every 1kg of dried herbs, 5 litres of solvent (alcohol) were used. So 5ml of tincture will provide you with 1 gram of herb. If you were making a 1:5 tincture and your herbs weighed in at 100g, you would need 500ml of solvent.
However, fresh herbs contain about 75 per cent of their weight in water. So 1kg of fresh herbs contains about 750ml of water. Now you need to adjust the water content of your solvent. In vodka, the water content is already present.
So to take your fresh herbs’ water content into account (100g of fresh herbs = 75ml water), you would subtract 75ml from the added water. So you would use 250ml grain alcohol and 175ml water.
Confused? Don’t worry. If you don't get it quite right, and your tincture ends up with less than the ideal ratio, all that means is your tincture will be less strong.
Practice makes perfect – or as good as you can get it to be.