If you want to make a truly amazing drink, well this is it! But hurry because you need to do it while the Beech leaves are so young and tender that you can almost see through them. If they look a bit tough seek out some beech trees higher up near a hill or a mountain where the temperature is not as high as in a town park or by the sea. Believe me, this is one of the best recipes I have ever tried. So here we go!
Beech Leaf Gin
Pack an earthenware or glass jar about nine tenths full of very young Beech leaves. Pour gin into the jar, pressing down the leaves until they are just covered.
Leave to steep for a fortnight.
Strain off gin which by now will have caught the brilliant green of the leaves.
To every 500 ml (1pint) of gin add approx 300 g(12 OZ) sugar more if you like your liqueurs more syrupy dissolved in 250 ml(1/2 pint) of boiling water and a dash of brandy ( optional).
Mix the warm syrup with the gin and bottle when cold. This is a marvellous recipe from Richard Mabey’s book, Food for Free.