Tag: Drinks

Elderberry ‘Rob’

This autumn booster is the second of our seasonal recipes for the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ and is taken from ‘Healing Drinks’.

The autumn is a great time to make use of the glut of fruit that might otherwise go to waste and drinks made from apples, pears, plums, blackberries and elderberries are packed with vitamins and minerals and provide vital nutrients for the immune system, preparing us well for the onslaught of winter and the ills it may bring.  Spices added to enhance the flavour of the fruit have the extra benefit of stimulating the circulation, keeping us warm as the weather turns colder.  This recipe also works well with other fruit such as blackberries and blackcurrants.


450g (1lb) fresh elderberries
450g (1lb) brown sugar

How to make:

Strip the berries from their stems, wash and then crush them.  Place in a pan with the sugar.  Bring slowly to the boil and simmer until a syrupy consistency is reached.  Pass through a sieve and bottle in clean, airtight bottles.

How to use:

Take 1-2 tablespoons in a cup of hot water regularly as a preventative or at the onset of cold symptoms.

English Blackberry Cordial

English Blackberry Cordial (from Healing Drinks)

The hedgerows are bursting with ripening blackberries and elderberries so we will be sharing a few seasonal recipes to harness these (free!) wonder berries.

This sweet spicy cordial is delicious enough to be loved by children and helps the body to fight infection and to throw off fevers at the same time.  Blackberries are packed with vitamin C and bioflavonoids, they have a decongestant action and clear toxins from the body through their laxative and diuretic effects.  The spices increase sweating by stimulating the circulation and have powerful anti-microbial properties.


900g (2lb) ripe blackberries (or enough to produce 600ml/1 pint of juice)
6 tablespoons of runny honey
10 cloves
5 slices fresh root ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

How to make:

Press the ripe, raw blackberries through a sieve to obtain the juice.  Place the juice in a pan and add the honey and spices.

Bring to a boil over a low heat, stirring until the honey has dissolved.   Simmer for 5 minutes.

Leave to cool and store in a cool place away from light.

How to use:

Drink diluted to taste with hot water.  Drink a cupful every 2 hours as needed.

Antihistamine Mix

Antihistamine Mix – for hay fever (from ‘Drugs in Pots’ )

Hopefully last week’s brain mix started some synapses firing!  This week’s recipe helps with hay fever symptoms.  No one enjoys having their summer ruined by hay fever – itchy eyes,  runny nose and feeling generally grotty.  This mix contains echinacea, chamomile and lemon balm to soothe the allergic response that sparks off symptoms, while agrimony and ground ivy calm any inflammation, drying up secretions.

Ingredients (makes enough to fill a 500ml (17 fl oz) jar)

400ml (14 fl oz) plant glycerol
100ml (3.5 fl oz) alcohol (vodka or brandy)
250g (9 oz) each fresh or 100g (3.5 oz) dried agrimony, chamomile, Echinacea, lemon balm and ground ivy

How to make

First mix the glycerol and alcohol together, then place the herbs in a wide-necked jar and pour the mixture over the herbs.

Leave to macerate for at least 2-3 weeks, stirring daily, and then strain through a fine mesh sieve or muslin, or press using a wine press, making sure that you squeeze as much liquid from the herbs as possible.

Pour into dark, sterilized bottles, label carefully and store in a cool, dark place.

How to use

Take a teaspoon 3-6 times daily in a little water, depending on the severity of the symptoms.

Larli’s Luscious Lemon Balm Libation

Larli’s Luscious Lemon Balm Libation:

We have been all hands on deck in the garden this week, rebalancing areas of the garden where plants have become a little too confident and nurturing areas that need a little love.  The glorious spring sun managed to break through the drizzle and Larli made this delicious cooling drink with mint and lemon balm from the garden.  (NB All quantities are approximate as this recipe has been retro-engineered!).

1. Take the juice and grated rind of 1 large lemon, along with approx 4 mint leaves and 5 lemon balm (Melissa) leaves, roughly chopped and whizz up in a Vitamix/blender.

2. Add 4 teaspoons coconut sugar (or 2 teaspoons honey or sweetener of choice) to this mix along with 100ml hot water to dissolve the sugar/sweetener.

3. Make up to 750ml with cold water, then refrigerate to cool and serve with ice cubes and a garnish of mint.