Tuesday, April 5, 2011
As a starting point, I followed the basic recipes for a cordial, with sugar and some lemon. But I used less sugar than is typically used. I also didn't let it ferment. It turns a lovely pink hue that makes it much more appealing than the green sludge that I was expecting.
I still can't sell my husband on it, but I think it is working on me...I am starting to taste the nettle and enjoy it. Maybe one day I can appreciate it unsweetened, but until then, I will enjoy this version.
If you don't have nettles, you can try this same formula with lemon balm or mint when it starts coming up in the garden.
I threw in a couple salmonberry flowers that the kids found along the path. Not required, but they looked nice in the mix. I quickly made another batch with some lemon balm leaves to take to a potluck. The results were pretty tasty. This is just a bit syrupy, so make sure you enjoy it over a tall glass of ice or you may want to dilute it slightly.
2 cups washed nettle tops (packed)
4 cups water
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup cane sugar, or other sweetener, according to taste
optional: salmonberry flowers
1. In a medium saucepan, combine nettles and water. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and leave for one hour.
2. Add lemon juice and stir nettle mixture. Using strainer, pour nettle mixture into another saucepan and stir in sugar until dissolved. Heat if necessary to dissolve sugar.
3. Pour into glass jar and refrigerate. Serve over ice in a clear glass. Or, drink warm if you so desire.