Every day the trees are becoming greener as the days get longer. There is an abundance of fresh oak, birch and lime trees, all of which can be made into wine or gin.
Just remember to not completely empty a tree, try to take a little from a few. Also, all must be picked and made when the leaves are young.
4.6 litres (1 gallon) of fresh young tree leaves
4.6 litres (1 gallon) of water
900g (2lb) sugar
2 or 3 oranges
1 teaspoon yeast
1. Pour boiling water over the leaves, stir well and leave overnight.
2. Strain off the leaves and bring the liquid to the boil. Add the squeezed orange juice and finely grated rind.
3. Allow the liquid to cool to lukewarm, add the yeast and pour into a demijohn. Fit a fermentation lock and add water to the top of the lock to prevent the vinegar fly getting in.
4. When it stops fermenting, siphon the liquid from the sediment and either bottle the wine if it tastes good or return to a clean demijohn. Wine findings, pectinol or egg shells can be added to clear it if necessary.
Beech Leaf Gin
You will need a bottle of quality gin, a wide necked jar, sugar and fresh beech leaves.
1. Place the leaves in the jar and cover with gin, poking them down well so they are well covered.
2. Shake every few days for 2 weeks.
3. Strain off the leaves through a sieve, to reveal the brilliant bright green gin.
4. For every pint add 300g (½lb) of sugar, dissolved in 0.29 litre (½ pint) of boiling water. Mix the gin and sugar water and a good splash of brandy together and bottle up when cold. Ready to drink immediately, or will last for years if you can leave it that long!
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