Neroche project/insert 1

‘In April the young leaves of the beech tree are almost translucent.  They shine in the sun from the light passing through them.’ 

A way of utilising them is to make a liqueur called beech leaf noyau.  ‘Pack an earthenware or glass jar about nine tenths full of young, clean leaves.  Pour gin into the jar, pressing the leaves down all the time, until they are just covered.  Leave to steep for about a fortnight.  Then strain off the gin, which will by now have caught the brilliant green of the leaves.  To every pint of gin add about three-quarters of a pound of sugar (more if you like your liqueurs very syrupy) dissolved in half a pint of boiling water and a dash of brandy.  Mix well and bottle as soon as cold.’4

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Beech Trees at Castle Neroche

4 Mabey, R. (1986) Food for Free, London: Peerage Books. Mabey’s book contains a full list of poisonous British plants.
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