Ask a herbalist for their favourite heart health herb, and Hawthorn is sure to be on the list. Hawthorn has been used traditionally to support hearth health and its use has been confirmed by numerous scientific studies. These studies have confirmed its ability to reduce blood pressure, and to increase the strength and number of heartbeats per minute.

One of the more traditional ways of taking hawthorn is as a warming Hawthorn Brandy. As hawthorn is such a prolific hedgerow tree, it’s easy to get hold of the ingredients for making your own hawthorn brandy. Here’s the recipe for making own Hawthorn Brandy.

Hawthorn brandy recipe

Ingredients

  • 500g hawthorn berries
  • 700mls brandy
  • 225g white sugar

Method

Begin by selecting your hawthorn berries. These are referred to as haws.

Remove anything non-berry such as leaves, twigs, and stones.

Give the haws a good wash and bash them up a bit.

Layer the haws into a large sterilised kilner jar.

Add one layer of haws and then one layer of sugar.

Repeat this until you reach the top of the jar.

Ensure you leave some space at the top so that the hawthorns are covered by the brandy.

Add the brandy. Give the jar a good shake until the sugar has dissolved.

I find it can take a couple of days of random shaking throughout the day to completely dissolve the sugar, so don’t worry if you don’t dissolve all the sugar on the first try.

Leave your mixture to develop over three months, shaking every other day. The colour will seep from the berries and into the brandy. After 3-months, decant into a bottle by passing through cheesecloth. This ensures all of the sediment is removed from your hawthorn brandy.

Traditionally it is enjoyed as a sherry glass full sipped before the fire each evening.