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May Liqueur

Drinks - Mixed

(Or, Hawthorn Brandy)

May blossoms, flowers of Crataegus monogyna, the common hawthorn, steeped in brandy with sugar.

May Blossom
Image: Barbara Carr

Original Receipt from the 'Nottingham Evening Post' - Thursday 07 May 1936

Like To Know.- May Liqueur: Gather hawthorn blossoms on a fine day, strip off leaves and stems, put flowers in wide-mouthed glass bottles; fill up bottles with good brandy and 2oz crushed sugar candy per pint. Cork tightly, leave three months; then filter and rebottle

Said in 'Flowers as Food' by Florence White (White 1932) to "taste better than the best cherry brandy".


Original Receipt from 'Pot-luck; or, The British home cookery book' by May Byron (Byron 1914)

1031. HAWTHORN BRANDY (Middlesex, 1822)
Put as much full blossom of the white thorn (hawthorn), picked dry and clean from leaves and stalks, as a great bottle will hold lightly, without pressing down. Fill it up with French brandy, let it stand two or three weeks, then decant it off clear, and add as much sugar as may make it of a proper sweetness.

1032. HAWTHORN BRANDY (Surrey)
Take a large bottle, fill it three-parts full with hawthorn petals, picked when the day is dry and sunny (putting the flowers only, not the stalks), and fill up with brandy. Let them infuse for about five or six weeks, then strain off the hquid into a clean bottle, and cork up well. This imparts a delicious flavouring to puddings, etc.

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