Have you heard of birch water? Birch water is a delicious and refreshing drink, made from the sap of birch trees. It is sugar free and packed full of minerals and among other things has been shown to lower cholesterol, support liver health and promote good oral health thanks to the presence of xylitol. Lif is a Helsinki based company (in fact they reside here in Lauttasaari, the very island I call home), who produce their own organic birch water. At the perfect moment every spring, Finnish birch trees are tapped and their sap collected. The tapping process does not harm the tree, however the tree itself absorbs minerals from the Nordic soil which are naturally filtered to produce an organic sustainable beverage.
If you haven’t tried birch water it has a mild woody taste which works well as a stand alone drink or as part of a mocktail. Lif have created three varieties of their birch water using hints of wild herbs and berries; Lingonberry and sea buckthorn leaves, cranberry and lemon balm and finally cloudberry. I have used them as the centrepiece of three birch water mocktails. The older I get, the less I seem to enjoy drinking to excess, so a healthy mocktail is the perfect answer. while two of the drinks comtain a sugar syrup, the sea buckthorn birch ‘mojito’ is completely sugar free. Birch water can also be used to replace regular mixers as a healthier alternative, birch water gin and tonic anyone?
So why not give birch water a try?
You can find more information about the Lif story at http://www.drinklif.com and contact them to get hold of their products.
Appleand spruce birch mocktail
1 dl/ 100 ml apple juice
1 tbsp spruce syrup
Lif cloudberry birch water
To make the spruce syrup add 0.5 dl/ 100 ml of water, 1 dl/ 100 ml sugar and 4 tbsps of spruce shoots to a small saucepan. Gently heat until the sugar has dissolved and the spruce has infused the syrup. This will make enough syrup for around 6 drinks, set to one side.
In a large cocktail glass add ice, a few sprigs of mint, a tablespoon of spruce syrup and the apple juice. Top up with Lif cloudberry birch water and mix before enjoying.
Cranberry and orange birch mocktail
1 dl/ 100 ml cranberry juice
good squeeze of orange juice
a couple of slices of orange
1 tbsp cardamom syrup
a sprig of fresh basil
Lif cranberry and lemon balm birch water
iceTo make the spruce syrup add 1 dl/ 100 ml of water, 1 dl/ 100 ml sugar and 1 tbsps of crushed cardamom pods to a small saucepan. Gently heat until the sugar has dissolved and the cardamom has infused the syrup. This will make enough syrup for around 6 drinks, set to one side.
Fill a large cocktail glass with ice and add a good squeeze of orange, the orange slices, a sprig of fresh basil, 1 tbsp of the cardamom syrup and the cranberry juice. Top up with Lif cranberry and lemon balm birch water. Stir and enjoy.
Sea Buckthorn birch ‘mojito’
2 tbsp sea buckthorn, defrosted
8 lime wedges
a few sprigs of fresh mint
Lif Lingonberry sea buckthorn leaves birch water
Add the lime wedges and sea buckthorn to large cocktail glass and muddle to release some of the juice and flavour. Add a good amount of crushed ice, the mint and top up with Lif Lingonberry sea buckthorn birch water. Stir and enjoy.
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