Hawthorn Schnapps


When you have finished making your hawthorn berry syrup and are still wondering about what to do with the masses of haws that are still on the bushes outside, you really should try making this schnapps.

I like to think of schnapps are basically the same as a herbal tincture, but in (slightly!) different size glasses. You will get all the amazing benefits to your heart’s health but more than a thimble full and the other not so good effects of the 40% alcohol will probably kick in. Still, it tastes really good with cheese and is a great way to finish a meal, and if you time it right, makes a lovely present for someone at christmas.

To make the schnapps, you’ll need a kilner jar, probably a litre capacity will be enough to start with, or you’ll be picking haws forever.

Sift through your haws and take out any leaves, and any that look manky or damaged in any way.

Wash them thoroughly, remember you are trying to make hawthorn schnapps, not spider schnapps.

Dry them on a clean tea towel and pour them into a clean kilner jar.,

I like my schnapps with the edge just taken off, so at this point I sprinkle over a couple of teaspoons of sugar.

Pour over a litre of 40% unflavoured spirit, vodka is the usual choice. You don’t have to buy the most expensive, just a mid range one will be fine.


Leave in a dark place for around 8 weeks, shaking every day to start with, then every week.


Decant off the liquid and pour into a clean, labelled bottle and leave to mature in a dark place for a couple of months if you can. Mine will probably not get past the christmas cheese board.


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