Mix 2 handfuls cut conifer noodles and 1 cup apple cider vinegar in a jar, and stir. Cover it with a non reactive lid and store in a dark place for 2 to 4 weeks, ensuring needles are submerged. Strain the mix with a fine mesh strainer, discard the solid. Combine strained vinegar with 3/4 cup honey in a sterilized jar and refrigerate for upto 1 year. This yields 1 1/2 cup.
Mixologists and herbalists love evergreen conifers not only for their piney, sometimes citrusy flavors, but also for their antioxidants. They have the ability to warm up a cold body and break up a boggy, chesty cough. You can make this oxymel with any edible conifer, such as pine (Pinus spp.), spruce (Picea spp.), fir (Abies spp.), or Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii).
After steeping the needles in vinegar, you’ll wind up with a flavored vinegar that’s delicious all by itself (pine needle vinegar is often compared to balsamic vinegar). You might wish to reserve some for cooking; as for the rest, you’ll mix it with honey to make a tasty, healing oxymeal.
Evergreen Oxymel Recipe
- 2 large handfuls conifer needles
- 1 cup (235 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 3⁄4 cup (255 g) honey, or to taste
- Roughly cut the conifer needles using scissors or a heavy knife.
- Combine the needles and vinegar in a sterilized pint (470 ml) jar, stirring with a chopstick to release air bubbles and moisten all the needles. Leave at least 1/4 inch (6 mm) of head space and make sure the needles are completely submerged.
- Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean cloth. Cover the jar with a nonreactive lid. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for 2 to 4 weeks, shaking it daily and ensuring that the needles stay submerged.
- Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a cloth or towel; discard the solids.
- Combine the strained vinegar and honey in a sterilized jar or bottle, cover it with a non-reactive lid, and shake to combine. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.