Hawthorn berries are abundant in the PNW in late summer, early fall. There are a few different varieties that can be found here, but for me, the easiest way to tell them apart is by the berry color and counting the seeds. Our native species have purplish-black berries and usually have three or more seeds. The non native species are dark red and have 1-2 seeds. It really does not matter though, you can use them all just the same.
Hawthorn is most commonly used as a long term heart tonic for mild conditions, such as anxiety and heart palpitations. Check out my herbarium page for more information on Hawthorn.
For this journal entry we are going to be using hawthorn a little differently. Making a fall hawthorn cordial not only sounds lovely and have all of the heart benefits, it will also have other herbs and spices that aid in digestion. This will be perfect to have on hand for holiday cocktails or after consuming those large holiday meals.
When making herbal remedies, for my own personal use, I prefer folk method. It makes it simple, easy and allows you to use your own intuition.
HAWTHORN CORDIAL RECIPE
- Fresh or dried hawthorn berries
- grated ginger
- crushed cardamom pods
- 1 vanilla bean, opened
- 1 cinnamon stick
- lemon and lemon zest
- dried hibiscus
- pomegranate juice
Place all herbs/spices/fruit in a jar. Fill 1/3 with pomegranate juice and fill rest with brandy and then topped with honey. Infuse in a dark, cool place for 4 weeks. Be sure to shake it up every now and then. Strain, bottle, label, date.