Birch Bitters

IN

Forager Liz Knight on when and how to create birch bitters.

Blink for long enough in the early spring & you’ll close your eyes to a twiggy, brown world & open them to vibrant green. The birch trees standing in our garden are filled to bursting with sap & they’ve stopped being ‘tappable’ for this year. Shame? A bit, but not that much because now the merry dance of gathering moves from the fat trunk to the fragile twigs & silky new leaves.

This is the season for Birch Bitters. I wish I could make this process sound impossibly clever & hard to do, but it’s as simple as me. You have absolutely no excuse not to do this.

Cut the last 15 cm of birch twigs – catkins, leaves & twigs, ram them into a jar & cover with vodka. If you leave them for a few days you’ll have a green, herbaous bitter but leave them alone for 3 months & you’ll discover a complex sweet (bitter) tannic warm bitter. Either way green & fresh or mature & woody, birch bitters are something to write home about (on a Paper Birch tree of course).

Birch Bitters sneak into lots of my cocktails, my favourite at the moment is ‘The Origin’ [see recipe >]

Follow Liz Knight on Twitter 

more features

Due to regulations in your own country of residence, you cannot access this website

By entering you accept the use of cookies to enhance your user experience and collect information on the use of the website. Find out more