low cost overnight phenergan cafergot cheap us pharmacy what types of mentax are there pictures of seroquel pills aricept mg tablet augmentin duo 400 syrup side effects use keflex coupon online ordering cialis professional on line viagra over the counter uk 2010 canadian rosuvastatin 10 mg cmax revatio wiki effects of propecia on fetus ampicillin without a script zovirax cream in canada generic for requip xl lowest priced desyrel best place to buy rhinocort to buy celexa in uk allopurinol online order viagra australia lowest cost how often to take bentyl what is ampicillin trihydrate used for generic drug for betoptic vermox without insurance singulair coupon for refills cheapest tinidazole worldwide pharmacy xenical buy abilify 5mg drug can i buy lisinopril online research grade endep cipro hc otic suspension generic lipitor discount prices uk zovirax cheap what is serpina pills used for my brand advair diskus coupons buy elimite bulk tomoxetin no script allopurinol 300 mg prices buy cream accutane mg elimite purchase in canada no prescription canadian drugstore complaints colchicine medicine online imitrex reviews and dosage best revia prices propranolol hydrochloride tablets uses where to purchase ponstel what is albenza made of where to buy allegra shoes women;s zoloft during pregnancy lawsuit prevacid without a prescription from india overseas viagra buy accutane singapore premarin 0.3 mg price betnovate c cream ingredients to buy cefadroxil hyaluronic acid tablets uses purchase generic mevacor how long does it take flovent inhaler to work overseas pharmacy no prescription bystolic diflucan pills order lasix with no prescription very cheap bactrim alavert coupons online purchase generic torsemide strattera dosage chart for children blackheads retin a reviews cholestoplex shoppers drug mart side effects of finax 1mg penegra results forum buy seroxat remeron indications and usage how to import lipitor where to get tadacip pct amaryl generico online buy cheap advair diskus generic online does silver slimming tablets work inderal 10 mg half life wellbutrin sr tablets purchase on line buy motilium uk buy anafranil online drug market order tadapox purchase cheap lamisil online canadian where to buy viagra online ireland buy atacand without a script toprol xl in the uk long time sex tablet alli online what drug category is tamoxifen pfizer champix reviews buy tetracycline without a script prednisone during delivery online pharmacy fda approved paroxetine now co uk homeopathy medicine lower back pain cabergoline dose for gyno aciclovir fast uk wockhardt usa lisinopril cheapest altace in the uk furosemide max daily dose diclofenac sodium enteric coated tablets 50 mg prednisone uses in cats acivir pills for sale philippines snovitra super power shortage can buy adalat online metformin buy online big blue pill buy nizoral tablets usa cheap generic doxazosin cheap xeloda sale uk over the counter viagra in stores buy lamisil tablets over the counter dosage of allicin for candida purchase probalan pills aspirin not generic canada order calan buy glucophage online from usa buy zestril online pharmacy pharmacies ampicillin online cefadroxil to buy in england why is there a shortage of levitra plus rx doxycycline 100mg is levitra from india safe pharmacy technician northern canada cheap cialis professional sale uk antabuse canada prescription decadron syrup side effects kosovarja janar 2013 buying cialis sublingual from canada no prescription doxazosin refill pack effexor xr 75mg capsule cheap drugs that get you high suhagra how to buy cytotec drugs permethrin cream 5 for scabies treatment caverta wanted online review paroxetine over counter what is famciclovir used to treat what is viagra used for treat fincar mg buy can you buy zovirax over the counter in the uk discount pictures of chlamydia in men atrovent cost generic from flovent how to get unisom in australia get adalat las vegas buy eulexin visa generic valtrex not working best site to buy colchicine crestor 5 mg cost colchicine toxicity pubmed singulair delivery london sertralina bula medicamento clomid now co uk cipro or levaquin for prostatitis buy midamor without a script ventolin hfa 90 mcg inh lady era shopping advanced trim acai reviews order vytorin tablets didronel shortage maximum glucophage dose comprar astelin portugal viagra soft generico online fast dilantin deleviery cholestoplex canadian pharmacy cheap no prescription buy arimidex anastrozole benzac phone orders buy bentyl usa stieva a gel review online drug store paypal elocon where to purchase viagra se vende sin receta en espan~a bactrim acne medicine exelon medication where to buy himplasia for sale australia how much is zocor without insurance legal to buy buspar propranolol and alcohol use glucotrol xl without discount prescription buy suprax online cheap depakote discount no prescription torsemide side effects long term use prevacid from colic prescription drug chloroquine depakote no rx no prescription needed pharmacy canada genuine kamagra oral jelly cheap glycomet buy online how to get levlen in australia venlor overnight shipping cheap generic zyprexa available where coumadin initial therapeutic pfizer viagra free trial flagyl online usa can you buy prilosec otc over the counter can you buy viagra over the counter in turkey canadian labour laws health and safety losartan elimite generic release date allegra no prescription needed arava coupon code cialis patient assistance form buy prescription medication online uk purchase of adalat retard pharmacy in tijuana order beconase aq online generic aldactone usa vermox worm medicine children buy brand cialis tablets usa lexapro buy on line viagra purchase online in india walmart pharmacy hours amsterdam ny navarro discount pharmacy miami fl mail-order sominex buy generic paroxetine online no prescription generic levitra sale aygestin dose generic name for elocon cream ordering tretinoin on line there generic methotrexate i take 30 mg of cialis increasing clomid dosage ceftin where to purchase metformin cost uk buy canada no prescription for elavil avandamet for men sale in uk discount celebrex coupons flagyl 500mg no prescription does ciprofloxacin affect birth control pills glucotrol mg buy propecia for daily use canada purchasing snovitra super power online uk what does metoclopramide benadryl for purchase how to order diabecon sildenafil side effects vision over the counter alternatives to viagra what is coreg 6.25 mg used for buy cytoxan bulk para que se usa lamictal buy motilium australia famvir to buy in australia do i need a prescription to buy cialis in canada canadian pharmacy colospa detrol la discount coupons order alli on line uk prescription solutions pharmacy phone number fosamax pill shortage best generic viagra in uk viagara falls little shubert over counter compazine seroquel pills online in the mexico purchase zoloft in mexico what is skelaxin prescribed for avandamet rx lyme disease amoxicillin vs. doxycycline reviews on aciclovir buy propecia online nz cheap clozaril free delivery nizagara over counter uk grifulvin v mg tablet cheap differin sale uk how to by liv online fucidin cream 30g children where is allianz stadium moore park flovent tablets on line to buy diclofenac sodium tablets bp 25mg can you get rechargeable lithium batteries mixing cipro and alcohol can you only get prevacid on prescription zebeta order vermox recommended dosage triderm mas'c' na co jest provera and clomid reviews buy provera mg online vpxl reviews and dosage diclofenac gel overnight shipping cheap kamagra shops uk buy live rock cheap estrace discount medications buy dostinex pills in the australia adalat nifedipine post cycle therapy cialis sublingual aciphex vs over the counter estrace order by phone drug market order hoodia purchase acai berry my cialis professional coupons buy ditropan from mexico online prednisone package insert pdf purchase strattera 18 mg purchase decadron pills provera on line for sale no script where pravachol when to expect ovulation on clomid motilium tablets no prescription nexium 20mg price zyrtec dosage can i make chloromycetin buy finax without rx januvia dosage metformin best site get atorlip-20 get precose las vegas buy lamictal online no prescription us indian pharmacy paroxetine aleve in canada genuine orlistat best price what is content marketing cheap genuine diflucan online cheap kamagra jelly online illegal drugs classification table uk no prescription rogaine 2 cialis soft birth control online us dilantin no prescription reviews how to order alligator meat erexin-v sold over counter antabuse medication dosage buy grifulvin v usa cost of ashwagandha without insurance what is the drug vermox used for ranitidine prescription children hoodia buy online australia buy brahmi online free coupon for cardura zebeta in canada coreg online cheap what is montelukast sodium effexor xr free shipping antabuse prescription information how to buy indinavir in london vicodin and flexeril high is maxalt over the counter insulin passport uk dutas delivery london how to import furosemide levitra.com free offer cheap viagra sale uk metronidazole without prescription what is zocor tablets best online canadian pharmacy no prescription reviews canadian pharmacy cafergot anxiety test uk buy hydrocodone online no prescription canada average cost of cialis per pill acheter zyprexa are online canadian pharmacies safe lipitor usa sales 2010 nitroglycerin overnight delivery what is zyprexa for buy cheap olanzapine can order cefixime canada genuine zantac best price benicar doctors online safe buy atorlip-5 online buy adalat oros blood prazosin women buy tenormin from uk nexium western australia prazosin over counter canada pharmacy exam for indian pharmacist taking water pills lose weight dutas generic propecia usa pharmacy nitrofurantoin without a script what is topamax prescribed for voltaren generic equivalent purchase diclofenac topical gel online pharmacy uk no prescription valium lowest priced synthroid prescription viagra online pharmacy online sale of cordarone flovent cost help online generic eulexin para q se usa el bactroban clonidine reviews for men levothroid from europe generic danazol safe premarin 5mg tablets where to buy isoptin ointment zanaflex order canada phone in order for menosan effexor xr refills lopid barato buy trazodone 50 where can i get evista citalopram overdose long term effects is crestor available over the counter order diclofenac potassium cost of calcium carbonate per gram levitra 20mg von bayer where to buy african mango diet pills in canada lotrisone user reviews glucotrol xl not generic atorlip-10 shop net indian albendazole cost of plavix for cats order paroxetine 25mg light blue oval pill watson 540 cytotec costa rica galeon isoniazid now co uk best xeloda prices kytril no prescription compare prices furosemide buy online india erection packs 1 medication rocaltrol discount voucher buy yasmin online from canada best price for real dipyridamole buy didronel next day what over the counter drugs can you take with lithium fertomid 100mg success rate which uk site to buy keftab get allopurinol how to take wellbutrin generic lotrisone switzerland aspirin without prescription where amaryl patients buy renagel mg online atarax dosage instructions nolvadex shop uk lotensin uk brand name what is zofran used to treat nolvadex mg price how to buy tricor drugs similar to aciphex celebrex canadian pharmacy celebrex and water pills evecare canada head office how to order aciclovir motilium suspension janssen-cilag safe buy antibiotics drugs online order retino-a cream 0,05 tablets coreg mail order india combivent inhaler price walmart what does a reglan pill look like genuine zebeta best price metronidazole flagyl 500 mg tablet aricept overnight discount can you get zyrtec d over the counter non prescription reminyl difference prednisone prednisolone what does depakote sprinkles look like buy valtrex online no prescription trusted where to methotrexate how can i make clomid more effective what is the cost of januvia vet meds with no prescription duphalac suppositories buy brafix suppositories buy aciclovir tablets 400mg cold sores cheap us buy augmentin prescription risperdal side effects para que se usa el xeloda indocin to buy in england tofranil dosage incontinence cialis soft no prescription canada normal cozaar dose lopressor prices usa use xenical coupon online cipro hc otic coupons is generic geriforte available in usa antabuse mg buy aciclovir cream bp 5 w/w differin .1 lotion reviews what does a meclizine pill look like estrace no prescription canada levofloxacin doxycycline medication for acne generic citalopram as good as celexa where to buy tadalafil uk buy robaxin 200 where purchase phexin long term side effects of emsam buy adalat 30 mg angina asthma guidelines british thoracic society where to get minipress pct trental with paypal payment what is an amaryllis plant can i get wellbutrin over the counter promethazine tablets from buy buy decadron perth australia blopress nebenwirkungen harndrang cost of v-gel without insurance how much is minocin tablets amoxicillin uses and dosage midamor cost order zantac online uk diclofenac gel legal in england facebook search uk only pariet drug store online medrol on line there generic januvia generic uk paypal midamor side effects of norvasc 5mg viagra price at tesco actoplus met online in usa no prescription online pharmacy review coumadin on line no script non prescription meclizine thalidomide trust history kamagra gold overnight pharmacy buy clomid 40 lipitor from cholesterol pfizer tesco pharmacy ventolin cialis generico 5 mg herbal extracts suppliers south africa como comprar livros kindle na amazon post cycle therapy grifulvin v brahmi gadi katha telugu movie online watch buy atorlip-20 mg online sominex reviews and dosage viagra reviews women buy codeine phosphate syrup uk promethazine erection uk drugs strategy 2010 can i buy trimox in canada protonix uk no prescription intra gastric floating drug delivery system of ranitidine hydrochloride formulation and evaluation toradol in italiano best price for acivir pills us army pharmacy jobs ginseng pills gnc olanzapine overdose emedicine +buy cafergot no perscription zebeta australia price can you get an ulcer while taking nexium what kind of medication is cozaar buy revia fast shipping hydrea australia price sandoz bupropion side effects lipitor recall dec 2010 buy unisom sleepgels pharmacy where do alligators live in florida triamterene generic drug side effects of nizoral shampoo 2 buy genuine bentyl uk roxithromycin to buy from europe med cab allopurinol where to get styplon pct vente de malegra fxt au quebec purchase 10 adalat 10mg comprar buspar en argentina phenergan 25 mg tabletter colospa cost in canada
Know how

Article categories

Grow your own

Whatever the scale of your ambitions or plot you'll find something useful here.

Make your own

Reduce your footprint by making your own, from knitting to soap-making to adorning your home.

Livestock and pets

Find out about rearing livestock from the farm to the garden, and doing the best for your pets.

Energy efficiency and construction

Discover how to adapt, change and even build your own home to enable you to tread more lightly upon the planet.

Cooking, preserving and home brewing

From the home brewery to ambitions of chefly grandeur. Find out how to do it all here and really taste the difference.

Wild food

Subsidise the larder in a sustainable way. From fishing, to shooting, to foraging safely, find it among these articles.

Conservation and the environment

Conserve our world for future generations. See how you can help in these pages.

Marketplace

From shopping with a conscience to building your own enterprise. Find advice and encouragement among these pages.

Everything else

Sometimes the diversity of downsizing can throw up an unusual topic.

Editorial

Past editorial items from the downsizer front page.

You are here: Home arrow Articles arrow Wild food arrow In Praise of Stinging Nettles

Print

In Praise of Stinging Nettles

Written by Gil and Downsizers

Gil, with a little help from friends, takes the sting out of this notorious weed with some delicious recipes.

The snowdrops and daffodils have flowered, the birds are singing, you've been out digging and sowing like crazy, and spring is well on its way. Only trouble is that you've got next to no green veg on the plot. You've eaten almost all the overwintering greens, except purple sprouting broccoli, which is just starting to head, but none of what you've put in so far this year has yet produced enough for a decent meal (unless you're a glasshouse / polytunnel type, and live much further south than I do).

One of the first plants to start growing again after the winter is the common stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). Groans all round, as this heralds the start of the weeding year. OK, you don't want them rampant in your plots or beds, but a few patches (or more) of nettles around the place can provide you with a number of fine-tasting seasonal treats, as well as having other valuable practical uses.

Nettles are fantastic! Don't let them go to waste!

This article covers the following:

1. Gathering and preparation
2. Nettles as a green vegetable (including soup)
3. Other culinary uses for nettles (including pasta)
4. Drinks made from nettles (wine, beer, tea, soft drinks)

1. Gathering and preparation

Wear gloves to pick them. I usually wear gardening or similar gloves (leather, suede, thick rubber/plastic). Those thin rubber washing-up gloves won't really do, and nor will fine wool. If you get stung, console yourself with the thought that nettle stings have traditionally been regarded as a cure for arthritis/rheumatism (probably because the sensation takes your mind off the other pain). In the Middle Ages, monks used to beat themselves with nettles as a penance, and invading (and desperate) Roman soldiers stung their arms and legs with nettles to keep warm in the British climate.

Pick the youngest, topmost leaves (the tips, and maybe the next couple of pairs of leaves). If the nettles are young, you can use the stems as well, but as the plant gets a bit older, the stems become more fibrous, and you can just strip the top leaves off for culinary use. Eventually, the leaves also become a bit tough. However, if you keep picking or cutting your nettles through the spring and summer, you can ensure a steady supply of new, young leaves.

When picking, be careful not to crush caterpillars and other animals. Nettles are great food for wildlife, and a little care will ensure enough food for both you and the butterflies.

Avoid picking from beside [busy] roads or where they might have been sprayed with pesticides or fertilizers. Avoid picking from places where dogs might have peed on them when they are very small.

Rinse before using for food or drink, still wearing gloves.

The sting (antihistamine-related) is removed by drying or heating.

Image
Nettles in April - young shoots top left and a little older on the centre/right

2. Nettles as a green vegetable

This is the most obvious use for nettles. High in Vitamin C and iron, nettles are good for you. They also taste surprisingly good. Traditionally, nettles were eaten in a variety of ways as a spring tonic and cleanser, and as something green and fresh after a winter diet that consisted mainly of meat, root vegetables and cabbage. The sting goes after they are cooked or processed. Think of them as an alternative to spinach.

2.1 Nettles can be cooked as a vegetable in their own right:

  • well-steamed

  • rinsed and not drained too thoroughly, then sweated with some oil in a pan. This method is even better if you first sweat a finely-chopped onion until it's cooked, then some garlic, and finally chuck the nettles in top, allow to wilt down, then stir around to mix.

How many nettles do I need?

They cook down to a much smaller volume than you start with, so work on spinach principles for portion size. Take a carrier bag when collecting.

What spices to use?

Grated nutmeg goes just as well with nettles as it does with spinach. Likewise butter and black pepper.

What do you mean, a spinach substitute?

This year I might try replacing the spinach in some of my favourite recipes with nettles, earlier in the year, before my perpetual spinach beet is cropping. These include:

  • nettle and chickpea curry

  • a 'green' couscous including sweated nettles

2.2 Nettle Soup: this is unbelievably good. It tastes of spring, green (greenness? spring greens?), with an indescribable flavour, and you can feel it doing you good. Baaaaa !

Gil's Nettle Soup

Ingredients

1 medium or large onion, chopped
garlic, chopped
oil for sweating
2 medium potatoes (non-salad type)
enough nettle tips and upper leaves to fill the pan a couple of times, rinsed and with some water still on
butter (optional)
milk
grated nutmeg, to taste
black pepper, ditto

I don't think this needs any salt. You may disagree.

If you were feeling particularly decadent, you could add some single cream before serving.

Kit

Large saucepan
Grater (normal kind)
Grater for nutmeg
Liquidiser

Method

1.Sweat the onion
2.Grate the potatoes coarsely, and sweat till soft/done; stir the mix so it doesn't stick or burn
3.Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute more
4.Add the nettles, in 2 instalments if necessary, cook down till soft
5.Add a large knob of butter (optional)
6.Cool for a bit
7.Liquidise with ½ pint cold milk, and check consistency
8.Add more milk or water till the soup is the thickness you like
9.Return to pan and reheat, add grated nutmeg and black pepper, and serve.

Serves 2 extremely hungry/greedy people, not as a starter. Or 4 people as a starter.

If you want to freeze this soup, stop after the veg are cooked (step 4). After defrosting, warm through, add the butter, liquidize with the milk (and water), reheat and add the spices.

Mat S's Nettle Soups

Recipe at: http://www.nettles.org.uk/nettles/activities/nettlesoup.asp

But I think a "standard" (whatever you've got around) veg soup with a load of young nettles piled in at the end is better. "

3.Other culinary uses for nettles

Tigger's Nettle Pasta

"Instead of using spinach to make flavoured pasta you can use nettles. Only use the new leaves from the nettle tops (and remember to use gloves to handle them until they're cooked!). Like spinach they shrink a lot so you need quite a few to make enough for 1/2 kg of flour. Cooked and well-drained the portion should be about as big as a bar of soap."

Tigger's Nettle Omelette

"Nettles can also be used in an omelette. Cook the nettles first. Treat as though making a spinach omelette."

I quite fancy the idea of a Spanish omelette with nettles, made with cubes of cooked potato, fried onion and red peppers, and sweated nettles. Or an onion, mushroom and nettle omelette.

4. Nettle Cheeses

Given the way spinach and cheese go well together, it is not surprising that there are various cheeses available that involve nettles. For instance, Cornish Yarg comes wrapped in / sprinkled with nettle leaves. I once won an Edam-sized hard nettle cheese in a pub quiz. It had a sprinkling of nettle leaves through as well as around it; very nice, but not particularly nettly.

I know nothing about making cheese. You might like to try making your own. Here's a suggestion:

Cab's Nettle Cheese

"I made a nettle cheese two years ago. Whole fat milk heated to blood temperature, separated out with vinegar, strained, squeezed, blended with just a drop of whole cream, wrapped in nettle leaves, squashed, and left in the fridge for a week and a half. Tasty."

5. Nettle Beverages

5.1 Nettle Tea

Well, I like this. But I've yet to meet anyone else who will admit to the same. I usually buy the branded, boxed teabags. I have tried making it with fresh nettles, but I think it tastes like cat's p***. One solution might be to dry your nettles first, then rub the leaves from the stalks and crumble up. I don't think fresh nettles and boiling hot water agree with each other – I think that's where and why the feline smell and taste can arise.

If you're into herbal medicine, nettles are said to have useful properties other than as a spring tonic and cleanser. A tea, or infusion, of nettles is a common method of using this herb. Check out the following site for more general information about nettles : http://www.nettles.org.uk

5.2 Nettle Wines

Oh, dear ... nettle seems to be the Cinderella of country wines.

And not a favourite with some of the most experienced Downsizer homebrewers. Cab said, "If you're just branching in to 'country' wines, nettle wouldn't be my first choice…. Nettle wine is a 'love it or hate it' thing", and Mark's comment was, "I don't think much of nettles as a winemaking ingredient anyway... but it is worth trying everything!!"

I respectfully beg to disagree. Very respectfully, but exceedingly strongly. It's not a wine I would give away in whole bottles for homebrew novices to try. Not in the way, for example, that I would bung them a bottle of birch sap or ginger, or a fruit-based red or rose, and leave them to it. No, indeedy. I want to keep all my nettle wine to myself, 'cos it's just sooooo good. Idiosyncratic stuff. Wine with attitude. But you can have the recipe.

Gil's Nettle Wine

If you like other nettle things, you'll enjoy this. It should turn out full-bodied, with a green, lush nose and flavour that can stand pairing with hearty foods like rabbit casserole.

I reckon the trick lies in how you treat the nettles. Do not, whatever you do, boil them up to extract the flavour. Don't even get boiling water anywhere near them. You will end up with cat's p***. If you're confident that the nettles are clean enough, don't sulphite them when steeping. Treat your nettle almost as you might treat the blossoms for a flower wine.

Ingredients (per gallon)

4 pints of nettle tops (loosely pressed down to measure)
1 kg sugar
1 litre white grape juice
juice of 2 lemons
a small piece of root ginger, bashed (optional)
½ a mug strong black tea (pot dregs)
yeast starter
yeast nutrient (optional)

Method

1. Wash the nettles well in cold water, place in sterilised bucket, and add 1 pint cold water [add sulphite to sterilise if you are being cautious and leave overnight, stirring well to dispel sulphite before proceeding]
2. Add 1 litre grape juice, lemon juice, black tea
3. Boil up 1 pint water, dissolve the sugar in it, [add ginger if using], cool slightly
4. Add to nettle mix in bucket
5. Make up yeast starter, add to bucket
6. Leave to steep for 5-7 days in a warm place, stirring at least daily to push the nettles down into the liquid
7. Strain into a demi-john through a jelly bag or muslin cloth in a funnel, adding more water if needed to make up to 1 gallon, and aiming roughly for a SG of 1090-1100, and put under airlock
8. Leave in a warm place to ferment out – could go down to SG 990
9. Rack, mature (for about 4 months), and bottle.

Angus came round to mend the Rayburn while I was making this last year, pulled a face and said, 'that looks like pond water'. He was right. It looked like something out of the burn in spate until it cleared to a rich golden-yellow.

Blacksmith's Nettle Wine

"I haven't got a recipe for nettle wine, but am in the process of making my second batch of oak leaf wine (3 gallons this time). I would imagine the process is similar for nettle.

Ingredients

10 pints of leaves
1 gallon of water
2 lemons
2 lb sugar
yeast

Method

Pour the boiling water over the leaves, leave over night, strain into a pan, bring to the boil, simmer for 15 mins. Add grated lemon rind and juice. Add sugar, allow to cool to blood temperature. Add yeast, leave in bucket for 5 days, funnel into a demijohn.
Allow to ferment out, rack off, filter and bottle.
Cheers ! Dave."

And my comment? An awful lot of boiling of water involved in the above, which would be needed for an oakleaf wine, but not for nettle. And 10 pints seems like a lot of nettles, but would be OK for oak leaves. Just pour the boiling water over the nettles, and don't re-boil the following day.

Cab's hints on nettle wine and a link to a recipe on another website -

"Get yourselves some rubber gloves and pick only young plants and the softer tips of older plants.

Bear in mind that American quantities are a little out, but this recipe doesn't look bad:

http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/nettles.asp

Mark's hint on nettle wine -

"Please remember alcohol isn't the only thing that affects strength of taste and body - in my book nettles will always need additional ingredients like raisins or fruit to give a decent wine."

5.3 Nettle Beer

http://forum.downsizer.net/viewtopic.php?t=3511

Some Downsizers made nettle beer last year (2005) :

Treacodactyl's Nettle Beer

"As my nettle patch is doing rather well I thought I'd try a small batch of nettle beer. I put a gallon on last night. Quite simple, nettles and a little grated root ginger, sugar and a little cream of tartar. Should be ready in a couple of weeks so I'll let you know how it turns out."

Sometime later...

"As a late Spring / Early Summer evening drink nettle beer's not too bad and I'll make another batch this year with some added ginger root. It's not something I would go mad on. However, I'll certainly carry on eating nettles and another bonus with them is the pigeons don't eat them! All our normal leaf crops have been eaten by pigeons this year but the nettles are untouched. "

I wonder whether you could add the juice of a lemon to good effect here?

Live The Dream (Anthony)'s Nettle Beer

"Made my first ever batch the other week and it is very good and refreshing. It does have a rather higher alcohol content than you would think though. The only tip I could give you is not to be put off by the disgusting smell when it is being boiled up.

This may help a bit - http://forum.rivercottage.net/viewtopic.php?t=8315

"I used the recipe from a book called 'Wild Food'. I can't remember the author (it may well have been Roger Phillips) but I did use more nettles than he said. Hope this helps. "

One farmer I know round here spent a day feeling fragile on the sofa after a session on a friend's homemade nettle beer, so this is clearly one brew to treat with caution !

There's a picture here: http://forum.downsizer.net/viewtopic.php?t=3092