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Spring Foraging for Garden Cocktails - Cleavers

  CLEAVERS If you are curious about foraging and creating Botanical Cocktails then Cleavers are something to investigate. Cleavers or sticky weed are abundant in hedgerows in the months of April and May. The fresh young shoots have  a very interesting taste and  can lend something new to the Garden Gin Cocktail repertoire. You can spot them in the hedgerows amongst nettles.  They have straggling stems which grow along the ground and over other plants. They attach themselves with small hooked  hairs which grow out of the stems and leaves. The stems can reach up to 3' or longer and are angular or square shaped. The flowers  are heart shaped, white -greenish flowers which emerge from early spring to summer....

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Welsh Sisters Portside

The story behind The Captain’s Wife Portside Special Edition. When the Captains' Wives left their home ports in Wales they would be at sea for many months with only the crew for company. Women from all over the world would be aboard sea going sailing ships - from whaling ships to sea clippers to coastal traders - and they would often get to know one another  because the routes they travelled were well known and common ports  of call in the nineteenth century.  We have named this special edition of The Captain’s Wife in homage to the women who sailed the seven seas and their optimism and sense of adventure when they touched land in far flung regions of the...

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GWANWYN - SPRING

GWANWYN (SPRING ) The first day of Spring is traditionally the   2nd of February, known as the feast of St Brigid / St Bridie / St Ffraid. In Celtic folk lore these first days of spring are also known as Imbolc.       In the Welsh tradition, the feast on this day is called Mair Dechrua’r Gwanwyn – The Feast of Mary, the Beginning of Spring. The celebration expresses two main themes: the re awakening of the fertility in the land and the start of a new cycle of agricultural activity. These rituals are probably based on ancient rites associated with the warming of the land, the return of the light after the dark winter, the green shoots rising...

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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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