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A Seasonal Tipple with Therapeutic Benefits.
Hawthorn shrubs are a common sight in wild and garden hedgerows, making a beautiful display with their spring pink and white blooms and later in autumn with their plump red berries. The berries are traditionally used in herbal remedies for anxiety and grief. More recently research has highlighted their cardiovascular (circulation) protective properties and their ability to modulate low and high blood pressures.* Infusing the berries in brandy makes a tasty liqueur that can be used as a tasty tipple or taken as 5ml in a little water for those moments of stress.
Sugar or honey
Take any size mason jar and fill about half way with fresh hawthorn berries. Add 1 tablespoon of honey or brown sugar (optional) for every 500ml of jar you have (e.g. 1 litre jar, you will have about 2 tablespoons). Top up the jar with a good quality brandy and leave to infuse for a month. Strain and discard the berries, then allow the alcohol to develop for a month or two (if you have the patience to wait).
To use: Enjoy as a you would any occasional tipple.
Shelf life: Will keep up to 2 years in a cool dark place.
* Check with a herbalist first if you are interested in taking hawthorn medicinally for heart conditions.
For more great recipes just like these, visit www.handmadeapothecary.co.uk