Schnapps & cider

Schnapps with home-grown fennel has a lovely liquorice flavour. I like it ice-cold as well as at room temperature. I find this schnapps excellent for a lunch table or fish dishes. However, you can also use it as a shot for a summer garden party.

Use both the fennel flowers and umbels with seeds to make a nice schnapps with a mild liquorice flavour. Remove any insects from the umbels. Put 4-6 fennel umbels in a pickling jar. The umbels can be used at all stages, both pre-blossom, in full bloom and with seeds. Add 1 bottle of vodka. Let the schnapps steep for about 4 weeks. Remove the umbels. Enjoy it any way YOU like it!

 

Apple cider from wild forest apples

 Cider is made from the fermented juice of apples. Since apples contain less sugar than grapes, a natural cider will have an alcohol percentage of 2-6%. Cider has a gorgeous fresh and crispy apple taste, without being overwhelmingly sugary or sweet. I like apple cider which has been manipulated as little as possible – that makes the best juice in my book. 

Collect the apples when they have fallen off the tree or as late in the season as possible. Wash apples which have been gathered from the ground. Cut away any rotten fruit. Pulverise the apples in a grinder or boil them to a pulp. Squeeze the juice from the apples. Ferment the cider in 5/10/25-litre carboys, and use a yeast lock to stop oxidation. Always keep the containers filled to avoid oxidation. Use wine yeast. Keep the cider cool, i.e. below 5-10°C. A lightly sulphurous cider can keep for up to a year in a cold cellar/outhouse.

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