Last Autumn we went scrumping with Terry from Hillier’s Garden Centre and Arboretum. He allowed us into their Heritage Collection which were all so tasty compared to the apples normally available to buy. We chose the sweet and juicy King George V apples and I put them to start the process of making schnapps.
A couple of months ago, a taste test suggested that the apples would like some spice, so I duly added cinnamon with a smaller amount of nutmeg and cloves.
This week it was time to distill it and add any finishing touches it might need. My original decision to make schnapps was ruled out as a liqueur emerged from my mixing.
When we are preparing any food or drink we have to work with the ingredients, which very loudly told me they wanted to be part of a liqueur, so that’s what we now have. It’s bottled and labelled and, if I say so myself, quite delicious!
The pear and honey schnapps will be available on our website very shortly, and will also be available from Bay Leaves Larder
Our serving suggestion is that it is ideally paired with fever tree light ginger beer. For something a bit more exotic just add a dash of orange bitters. We have also used it as a base for our cocktail, The Hiltingbury Gentleman. For those of you who have already asked for the recipe it is: 2 parts schnapps, 2 parts ginger wine, 1 part amaretto, and a dash of orange bitters. Serve over ice and top up with lemonade to taste
We have recently teamed up with the world class Hiller’s Arboretum, and together we are just teeming with new ideas! (Sorry about the irresistible pun!)
We have a pink gin in production made from their dark leaf elderflower, Sambucus Nigra. Sadly we’ll only have a few bottles this year and most will be at Hillier’s, although it seems only fair that we should make some available through Bay Leaves Larder.
Later in the year we have ideas for more Schnapps recipes from their international collection of crab apples and crab pears.
Chilled at 30% alcohol with a sweet tartness, we are so pleased to have this back in stock.
Made from nothing but organic lemons and alcohol, with added New Forest Spring Water and cane sugar to temper the strength and add sweetness, it has so much lemony goodness and lemony oils that it needs a good shake before serving.
And limoncello is drinkable ice cold, straight from the freezer. Just perfect for long hot summer evenings!
We at the Hiltingbury Still have been a small part of the re-opening of a local pub, in North Miller’s Dale specifically.
I remember, back in the day it having rather barn-like interior, not doing justice to the beautiful old building it was housed in, then lying sadly empty for years.
The transformation then, really does have to be seen to be believed. It’s been beautifully refurbished, and now has a great atmosphere. I would put in in the upmarket category for a gastro-pub, with delightful touches such as blankets for sitting on the grass just outside the open side entrance.
It would be totally remiss of me not to mention the astounding gin collection, over 30 different ones I believe. We tried one of our own when we went there for Sunday lunch: beautifully served.
What started, in my head, as musings on a new pub appears to have turned into an accolade. So be it. They deserve it!
We have been asked where this photograph was taken. It is of the Hiltingbury Lakes, to remind us where we are lucky enough to live and work. Malcolm took it whilst we were dog walking there on a crisp, clear day.
We would both like to say a big thank you to the first shop and first bar to stock our products. They are Bay Leaves Larder and Green’s Bar and Kitchen. It’s thrilling for us that they both told us that our products are popular and will continue to be available.
We will be adding more outlets as time goes on, but it means a lot to us that some places took a risk on new product so readily
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