Forest Medicine at Home: Pine Syrup
Have you made Pine Syrup before? It's delicious! And very simple.
Collect about a quart worth of fresh pine needles along with a few accompanying twigs.
Place into a pot of half water and half sugar. (a simple syrup)
Cover, and keep the heat just below a simmer for about 30 minutes.
Crack the lid so some steam can escape, and continue for another 30 minutes or to liking.
Strain, cool and refrigerate.
Use in hot tea to soothe congestion, drizzle over meats for a gourmet taste, or make a whole bunch for beautiful holiday gifts!! Your Pine syrup should last you at least a few months if properly refrigerated.
(Sugar -free? Follow the recipe sans the sugar. When the liquid is cooled to room temperature, add honey to approximately equal parts. This will require refrigeration and not last as long (about 1-2months depending on honey quality and cleanliness of equipment) as the simple syrup method, so make it just a couple weeks before gifting.)
You can use this same technique for many herbs and spices, it makes a killer ginger syrup, perfectly warming cinnamon syrup, and candy-cane like peppermint syrup! Play around, it's an inexpensive way to experience flavors of herbs.