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Wild Blackberries and Gin

WILD BLACKBERRIES AND GIN   In the past the women of the maritime villages of West Wales would have been very busy at this time of year preserving all the foraged berries and fruits from the gardens and hedgerows. In some diaries of this era they mention walking for miles and miles chatting together and picking all the nutritious free food especially blackberries which are so versatile and offer up beneficial substances in their leaves and fruits.   For our purposes blackberries and gin are a winning combination especially when the blackberries are freshly picked in August or September. A Bramble Cocktail using homemade Blackberry Cordial or Liqueur or a Blackberry Gin Fizz made with muddled blackberries are full of...

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Bee Friendly Garnish

     Bee Friendly Garden Garnish 'The Bees are glad  the livelong day For lilacs in their beauty blow.' Dylan Thomas   You don't need a large garden to grow your own cocktail cabinet. A sunny window sill, a balcony with containers, a patio or garden all can provide scented choices for gin cocktails to make and to garnish. The sun loving Mediterranean herbs such as Lavender, Rosemary, scented Geraniums and Sage provide for many months of the year. Whilst shadier spots welcome Mint, Basil. Lemon Verbena, Borage  and Lemon balm. Edible flowers which can be grown in pots such as Nasturtiums, Dianthus, Jasmine, Cornflowers and Honey Suckle bring gorgeous colour to any cocktail.  Why not grow some garnish and save...

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YSGAWEN - MAGIC ELDERFLOWER

One of our favourite books is THE DRUNKEN BOTANIST  by Amy Stewart. There is such joy in her writing about the plant world and all the plants that create the world's greatest drinks. Plants offer so much to gin enthusiasts and we think one of the most delectable botanical additions to a Gin Cocktail  is Elderflower. The flat topped cluster of honey scented flowers make a remarkable liqueur and a superb cordial...or even champagne.  And we can make it at home as the plant is a classic hedgerow tree found in gardens, and urban wasteland alike ready to come into bloom as we move from May to June. So here is a small Welsh Sisters guide to gathering and making Elderflower...

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MAY DAY CELEBRATIONS IN WALES

Traditional May Day Celebrations in Wales Calan Mai is the celebration of coming summer and it is the time when  traditionally farmers would turn their herd out to pasture.  May Day itself is known as Calan Haf - the first day of  summer - and it is the opposite end of the season to Calan Gaeaf - the first day of winter. The evenings before these days are also very important as they are two of the three nights of the year when the veil between the spirit world and our world is meant to be at its thinnest. The three spirit nights are called  Ysbrydnos and they are April 30th, October 31st and St John's Eve on 24th June....

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