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Bog Myrtle.

On the western side of the island, you will find the absolutely best of all schnapps herbs, namely Bog Myrtle. Drive to the parking place at the end of the road Knudevej and walk along the path towards Lille Knudshoved. Here, a little in towards the plantation grows the Bog Myrtle in huge bunches.
 
How can you recognise the Bog Myrtle:
The Bog Myrtle is a bush with upright reddish branches with oblong, egg shaped, blue-green leaves which are dentate towards the tip and hairy on the underneath side of the leaves. The flowers sit in upright catkins before leafing foliation.
Both catkins and leaves can be used for schnapps brewing.

Recipe:
In April, you cut small twigs with half open catkins. At home, you remove the catkins and put them in a marmalade jar with vodka. Use a good handful for a whole bottle. Let it sit for one week’s time; then put it through a sieve, and you will have the most beautiful golden and great tasting schnapps. Later, after leaving foliation, the leaves are used which can easily be frozen for brewing throughout the winter.

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St. John’s Wort.

St. John’s Wort is probably found several places on Fur as it thrives on dry sandy soil in gravel pits, on road slopes, and similar places. The place where I so far have come across it is on walks along the beach at the cove Færker Vig among bushes and plants outside the moler factory.

How can you recognise St. John’s Wort:
The stem is double edged, and the herb has small dots on its leaves. These are clearly seen when held up to the light. The yellow flowers have pointed sepals and sit in cymes crowded at the tips of the branches. It is the unopened flower buds that are used. Press carefully on the flower bud and see the beautiful red “blood drop” which appears. This gives the schnapps a magnificent red colour.

Recipe:
For a whole bottle of vodka, you will use a little more than a little match box of flower buds, which are to sit for at least two weeks. Then the transparent essence is run through a sieve. It must be diluted to be enjoyed. The schnapps has a beautiful ruby colour, and it has its own special slightly bitter and spicy flavour. It improves with ageing. Collect, if possible, extra match boxes with flower buds as they can be frozen without losing their flavour and properties.

And as to properties: St John’s Wort is nature’s “happy pill” and is available as such in health food shops. But why buy expensive pills or drops when the schnapps has the same properties, and the alcohol percent is not to be overlooked!


 

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Crowberry.

Crowberry is also called “svotbær” in the Jutlandish dialect. It is common on poor soil and grows many places on Fur: both along the coast and for instance also on the mounds “Smedjehøje” where it forms entire carpets.

How can you recognise Crowberry:
Crowberry is a low crawling bush with many catkins. Actually its leaves are relatively broad, but as they are coiled up – they look like needles. Its fruits are small, black, and “stony”.

Recipe:
Like other “berry schnapps”, the “svotbær schnapps” must sit for a long time, certainly 3 – 6 months before it is sieved and ready to be drunk. Fill a jar with berries, pour vodka over them and add a spoonful of honey. It is excellent for the Christmas table!

 

 

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Blackberry.

Blackberries grow like thickets in countless places on Fur. In Engelst, where I live, you can live on them. The black magnificent berries are extremely tasty, raw and in jams. If you have energy for a walk in the thickets which will stick and scratch, it is worth the scratches to pick for both jam and schnapps.

Recipe:
The fully ripe berries are picked in August and September. A jar is filled with the berries, and these are covered with vodka. Add, if possible, honey according to taste. This schnapps must sit for at least three months, then it is sieved. It improves by ageing for one year.

Tips: Make two bottles. Then one can be drunk for Christmas, and the other can be aged!

 

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