Harvesting hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) berries in late fall can produce a basket of sweet red berries ideal for a vitamin-rich homemade cordial (Harford,2020). Blended with seasonal favorites, including apple, rosehip (Rosa spp.), and cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.), this hawthorn berry homemade cordial is sure to delight and soothe.
The hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) tree offers many gifts: leaf, flower, berry, and some herbalists even use the thorn. Hawthorn supports the physical heart by acting as a cardiac tonic (Easley & Horne, 2016). The berries have a sweet and sour flavor (Tilgner, 2009). The most common hawthorn species are Crataegus monogyna, C. oxyacantha, and C. laevigata. All hawthorn species have wellness benefits and are used in similar ways (de la Forêt, 2017).
Hawthorn Berry Cordial
What better way to enjoy the gifts of hawthorn than to create an after-dinner cordial that can ease the stomach, open the heart, and help celebrate the harvest season? This hawthorn berry cordial recipe is adapted from Alchemy of Herbs by Rosalee de la Forêt. Yield: 2 servings.
- 1 cup organic dried hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) berries
- 1 chopped organic McIntosh apple, seeds removed
- 1 teaspoon fresh organic ginger (Zingiber officinalis) rhizome, minced
- 3 cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) pods, crushed
- 1 teaspoon of organic orange (Citrus sinensis) peel
- 1/2 cup organic dried rose (Rosa spp.) hips
- 1 organic cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.) stick
- 2 tablespoons dried organic hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) calyces
- 1/3 cup organic 100% unsweetened blueberry juice
- 1/2 cup organic honey
- 2 cups brandy
- Combine all ingredients in a quart-sized lidded canning jar.
- Let ingredients macerate for 4 weeks, shaking the jar daily so solid ingredients infuse benefits and flavor into the brandy.
- Use a sieve or cheesecloth to separate cordial from spent solid ingredients.
- Enjoy as-is or add 1-2 tablespoons to a glass of carbonated water.
This delightful Hawthorn Berry Cordial calls for brandy, but you can use vodka, rum, or even whisky when creating homemade cordials (Winter, 2014). For more information on hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), including its history, myths, and uses, see Hawthorn Offerings or Overnight Hawthorn Infusion
de la Forêt, R. (2017). Alchemy of herbs: Transform everyday ingredients into foods and remedies that heal. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House.
Easley, T., & Horne, S. (2016). The modern herbal dispensatory: A medicine-making guide. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
Harford, R. (2020). Hawthorn – A Foraging Guide to Its Food, Medicine and Other Uses [Online article]
Retrieved from https://www.eatweeds.co.uk/hawthorn-crataegus-monogyna
Pivarnik, M. (2019). The History, Mythology, and Offerings of Hawthorn [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://theherbalacademy.com/hawthorn-offerings/
Tilgner, S. (2009). Herbal medicine: From the heart of the earth. Pleasant Hill, OR: Wise Acres LLC.
Winter, C. (2014). DIY: A Cordial Event –How to Make Your Own Flavored Liqueurs at Home [Online article]. Retrieved from https://inhabitat.com/diy-a-cordial-event-making-your-own-flavored-liqueurs-at-home/