Pine cones are the reproductive structures on softwood pine trees. They are cone shaped with the seeds packed together and forming protruding ridges. When older and dried, they separate and turn brown. The pinewood tree is found in both tropical and temperate climatic zones. Young green pine cones can be used in making liquor as they contain tannins that flavor the liquor. They also contain other lignin- related compounds that appear to have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-tumor properties.
Things You'll Need
Pick young pine cones that are usually greening between May and June and store them into a clean bowl.
Clean the cone pines. Run water over the cones and clean them using your hands. For the depressions on the pine cones, use a wet piece of cloth to wipe dust or soil. For better cleaning, use deionized water to removes dust particles more efficiently. Discard cones that will not clean well, as the quality of the liquor will be compromised by dirt.
Put the cone pines into the recipient container/carboy and pour gin or spirit into it. Add the sugar and mix it thoroughly by shaking. When the sugar has completely dissolved, keep the recipient container in a place where it can stay undisturbed.
Stir regularly. After you set it in a secure place to settle, shake at least once every week in the first month. Let the mixture resettle for the next three or four months without shaking.
Strain out the liquid, which is now liquor, through a strainer into a bottle and let it rest. The liquor is now ready to be served but can be stored for a smoother taste.
Honey or cane sugar can be used for sweetening instead of beetroot sugar.
References and ResourcesSeas Harvard Education: Hygromorphs: From pine cones to biomimetic layers
Pine-cone-liquor-drink: Make your own pine cone liquor
Forestry Products Laboratory: Chemical Composition and fungitoxic activities of the cone pine extracts
Fresh Patents: Pine cine extracts and Uses thereof