Young Rowan 3 ways

Ah, Rowan!

You are so wonderful in so many ways! Here’s three of them: Rowan liqueur, Rowan syrup and Rowan tea.

The time to make these delicacies is in the spring when rowan trees begin growing their leaves. It is the buds and the smallest of leaves that lend a sophisticated amaretto-ish taste of bitter almond to the produce, so you need to catch them young! It is said the buds need to be gathered when they’re nice and plumped-up but still closed. As can be seen in my pictures, I was a bit late and had about half closed buds and half opened up little leaves – yet the taste turned out fine. For the tea, older leaves do well, too, but a general instruction to foraging any wild herbs is to do it before the plant flowers.


This wild amaretto is extremely easy to make. Chop up the rowan buds and place them in a glass jar. Add sugar, to the amount of about one third of the rowan buds. Pour in clear liquor, such as vodka, just enough to cover what’s in the jar. Let sit for a few weeks, shaking the jar every once in a while. Sieve out the herbs, add sugar if needed and store in a bottle.


The heavenly rowan syrup is easy math. 1 part rowan buds, 1 part brown sugar, 2 parts water. Chop up the rowan buds and place them in a saucepan. Add water and cook for about 15 minutes. Sieve out the herbs and pour the liquid back into the pan. Add brown sugar and reduce into syrup, cook until you are happy with the thickness. Store in the fridge.


Instructions for making the fermented rowan tea can be found here.