This week I wanted to give you an alternative to the traditional mulled wine that one might usually drink at this time of year. It was made famous in Charles Dickens, ‘Pickwick Paper’s’ and it’s called Purl. It is a delicious hot punch containing ale, gin and spices. Now you may be wondering what this has to do with wildlife. Well, if you’re out an about on a winter walk on a cold bleak day or your sitting in a bird hide waiting for that elusive snipe to raise his head. You might want something with a bit of a kick to keep you warm! This recipe dates back to Victorian times and it was something that was recommended to be drunk on a cold winter’s day.
To make 6 servings you will need: 150ml gin, 1ltr hoppy ale, 200ml cloudy apple juice, 90gm sugar, 5gm hops, 2 cloves, 1tbsp heather honey, 2 large splashes Angostura bitter, 1 star anise. The recipe itself is pretty simple, put it all in a large pot and simmer for 20mins, strain and then drink! If you are planning on going out and about this is the time when you’d put it in your flask for later.
Now you have a tipple, where are you going to go? I am pretty sure I saw a white capped Tinto during the week. I think a heavy frost gave it a snowy appearance. If hill climbing isn’t your thing why not visit one of the Clyde Valley Woodlands that make up the Clyde Valley Woodlands National Nature Reserve. Chatelherault and the Falls of Clyde have longer walks available and Cleghorn Glen, Lower Nethan Gorge, Cartland Crags and Maudslie woods are all great for shorter walks.
Laura Whitfield – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Ranger