We have been making homemade wine and liquors for years. One of our favourites is birch sap wine. We love to go foraging with our family through our hedgerows for ingredients. So far we have made several varieties of wine. One of the best was elderberry, however the dandelion wine was our least favourite due to its unique taste.
We enjoy going out in the woods at all times of the year but particularly when the Birch sap is running. This is a good sign that Spring is coming. The birch sap can be enjoyed in small doses as a natural drink straight from the tree. Alternatively you can use it to make a fine home made wine.
How do you recommend getting the birch sap?
Only tap the Birch in very early Spring, before the leaves appear. We recommend drilling a small hole in the southern side of the tree. We use a bit and brace (hand drill) for this. Then insert a wooden spile in to the hole. The spile has a handy lip to hang a small pot for collecting the sap as it runs from the tree.
We only ever take the smallest amount of sap so that the tree is never harmed. It also means we can return to the same tree in a few years time. Never use the same tree more than once every three years.
Always plug the hole when you have finished. We recommend using a stripped hazel stick so that there is no harmful bacteria that can be introduced to the Birch. We would love to hear your feedback on this.