Hogweed Seed Vodka
Common hogweed seeds bring their intense herbal spiciness to this simple vodka infusion, which is ready to drink after just 24 hours (though if you can wait two weeks, you’ll be rewarded with a deeper, fuller flavour). Use it to make aromatic, herb-scented cocktails, such as the one below.
Collect umbels of hogweed when the seeds are fully formed but still green (once they dry, the seeds disperse). At home, put a paper bag over the green seedhead and fasten it loosely in place around the stem with an elastic band, then invert the umbel and hang it up in a cool dry place for around a month or so. As the seeds dry they will collect inside the bag. Ensure the seeds are fully dry before storing them in an airtight container.
- 700ml vodka
- 15g (about 2 large handfuls) dried common hogweed seeds
- Pour the vodka into a 750ml (or larger) sterilised preserving jar. Add the hogweed seeds and stir well. Fasten on the lid and leave the jar in a cool dry place.
- The vodka will be well infused after 24 hours, but if you can, leave it for up to 2 weeks, shaking the jar from time to time.
- Strain the vodka through a sieve lined with fine muslin into a clean, sterilised bottle before use.
For a hogweed martini, mix 1 jigger shot (45ml) of good gin with a teaspoon of dry white vermouth and a teaspoon of hogweed seed vodka over ice, then drain the liquor into a chilled glass. Add a couple of small pennywort leaves for garnish, and serve.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK