Some of the herbs from my garden, along with the apples my neighbour gave me, are now being preserved for cooler days; liqueurs for sipping by the fire on a winter evening, and some sage honey, said to be good for coughs and sore throats…
The liqueurs are tried and tested recipes. The honey is a first for me, but since my pulmonaria honey was such a success I decided to try this out.
Simply wash and dry about 12 sage leaves. Chop and put in a clean jar. Pour over 500g (1 lb) of clear, not too strong, honey. (I used Acacia honey). Seal and store for a week. Then do a taste test. If it gets too strong, strain out the leaves and reseal.
Peel and thinly slice apples straight into a clean jar filled with schnapps (40% alcohol). (Note: German schnapps contains no added sugar, so if in doubt use brandy or even vodka). I used 700ml apple schnapps and about 300g apples. Add one stick of cinnamon, seal the jar and leave on the windowsill, but not in direct sunlight, for four weeks. Strain out the apples, and add 250g sugar. Leave another 2 weeks. Strain again if you want a really clear liqueur. This keeps very well and is quite sweet and fruity.
- 3 sprigs sage
- 3 sprigs basil
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig mint
- 3 bay leaves
- 750ml Southern Comfort
- 225g crystalized sugar
- Peel of half a lemon
Wash and dry all the herbs and put them in a sterilized jar with the sugar and lemon peel. Cover with the alcohol and leave for 2 weeks in a warm, but not sunny place. Shake occasionally. After the two weeks are up, strain and sieve. It is ready to drink, but it will keep for ages. We still have a drop left from last year!
Coming up tomorrow: my recipe for elderberry liqueur!