I guess some of you never heard about these beautiful berries, and even not tasted them. Not sure about the correct name in English, but google says “sea buckthorn or hippophae”. These bright orange berries have a sour and slightly bitter taste, and they are well-known in my home country. I remember late September and myself a little girl picking these berries from trees in parents’ garden. It was not easy at all, because of dense berry arrangement on each branch plus lots of thorns among the berries! It was possible to cut the whole branches but in that case the future harvest could be low. But hard works pay and it was such a pleasure to sip freshly brewed tea with bright berries in it or just eat them as is.
Sea buckthorn has lost of benefits for the health, and contains great amount of vitamins E and C. It can be frozen, or used in making jams, pies or preparing liquors.
I make this simple hot drink with frozen berries, they are of course less bitter but still tastes great! Addition of cinnamon sticks and star anise adds a nice spicy note to the drink, that always associated with cold winter days. I haven’t used any tea this time, but you can add a cup of freshly brewed black tea (plain, not flavored) to the drink and simmer all together.
I truly hope that you could get and enjoy these beauties one day! Highly recommend to serve it in a glasses (or transparent tea pot) so you can enjoy not only the taste but also to watch how berries and spices ‘dancing’ in your glass!
Winter Spiced Drink with sea buckthorns
You can add a freshly brewed black tea (plain, not flavored) instead of water or make 50/50 and simmer all together.
150g frozen sea buckthorns
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 star anise
1tbsp brown sugar or honey to taste, optional
- Cover frozen berries with water, add spices.
- If using sugar add it along with spices. You can leave the drink unsweetened and serve it with honey, which is better to not to boil and preferably add to the ready drink thus it can keep all its healthy benefits.
- Bring the drink to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Switch off the heat and leave to infuse for few minutes more.
- Serve warm.