Beech Leaf Noyau is a traditional liqueur made from young leaves of the Beech tree. The leaves are gathered while they are soft and sticky and still have a translucent, delicate look to them. At this stage, the leaves taste citrusy when chewed and can also be used as a salad leaf.
The Beech tree has a long history of being revered in the Britsh Folklore. Traditionally known as the Mother of the Woods, it is considered to be protective and nurturing, giving shade with its canopy and food that can be eaten in its raw state. It is said that no harm will befall a lost traveller who seeks shelter under the branches of a beech, and the tree is found at many sacred sites across the UK.
Ingredients for Beech Leaf Noyau
- Young beech leaves
- A 700ml bottle of gin
- 150g white sugar
- 125ml brandy
- A Large Glass Preserving Jar (Amazon affiliate link)
- Glass Bottles (Amazon affiliate link)
How to make Beech Leaf Noyau
Gather young, soft, bright green beech leaves shortly after they have unfurled.
Remove any twigs and papery leaf casings.
Lightly pack enough leaves in a jar so that a 700ml bottle of gin covers them.
Seal the jar and leave for a minimum of 4 weeks.
After this time, strain through fine muslin and discard the leaves.
Make a sugar syrup by gently heating 150g sugar in about 200ml of water until it dissolves. Leave to cool, then add to the Beech leaf gin infusion.
Finally, stir in 125mls of brandy to finish and bottle.
Tuck away in a cool, dark place to mature for a couple of months before drinking.
So how does Beech Leaf Noyau taste? We cracked open a bottle that has been maturing for about six weeks with friends yesterday to gather some opinions. They all said it was delicious and described it as having a mellow herby taste with a hint of nuttiness about it.