benadryl tablets price pariet online overnight shipping generic pills for cardizem is augmentin better than azithromycin pastillas para una ereccion prolongada buying pharmacy drugs in mexico order luvox online no prescription with a amex para que se usa corega buy lotensin from canada drugs similar to diflucan levitra professional billig kaufen food network live in italian where purchase atorlip-20 buy chloramphenicol drops buy erection packs 1 with generic depakote uk aleve 1000 mg buy alli without a subscription acheter piles lithium quiero comprar singulair can women take cialis or viagra best pharmacy to order cipro glucophage online overnight best way buy viagra online where can i buy nolvadex cephalexin 250mg capsules side effects viagra uk net reviews cardura generic side effects where to buy cefixime drugs online zyvox sales 2000 how to become a certified pharmacy technician online buy canada no prescription for bentyl generic ginseng can you order claritin drugs including tricor online cheap shelf life of lipitor tablets where can i buy lynoral buy actonel in india online side effects of viagra on older men generic allopurinol usa pharmacy viagra 150 mg how to take it strattera online australia buy ciplox online no prescription us is atarax available over the counter claritin purinethol 50 mg tablet buy proscar mg online kirkland minoxidil foam uk seroxat side effects depression what is clomid imuran pharmacy prices list buy cefadroxil discount order uk purchase viagra online onde comprar cialis em portugal tramadol high dosage tadacip 50mg tablets generic name voveran liv without prescription canada brand viagra generic name best generic evista sites nizoral shampoo 2 percent order tricor generic can you get high from snorting lamictal venlor uk buy overnight pharmacy lasix prescription cod cheap albenza pills buy viagra over the counter in spain diclofenac with no rx fear of flying anxiety medication avalide shopping triamterene without a prescription my cyklokapron coupons colospa daily use reviews abana pharmacies in can order himplasia online levitra super active reviews for men brand pariet buy nolvadex 20 mg bodybuilding buy cleocin gel online cheap tadacip 20 use is generic crestor safe side effects using asthma inhalers what is chloramphenicol eye drops for buy strattera online usa pariet mexico pharmacy can deltasone get you high i pill floxin website certified pharmacy technician online college top 10 online brand advair diskus sites consumer reviews dramamine less drowsy formula mircette buy online ireland avalide ordering online pharmacy mirapex restless legs syndrome best online foreign pharmacies search what does digoxin do for chf finast shelf life cefadroxil usa cvs prices avalide tablets com get omnicef toronto cheap kamagra gold no prescription buy generic letrozole online fast rumalaya delivery generic trimox safe cheap coumadin buy online online pharmacy retin-a 0,05 levitra online without prescription order ventolin without prescription ortho tri cyclen drug in usa pharmacy what is the maximum dose for celebrex order cephalexin overnight proper dose of cephalexin for dogs what types of ophthacare are there prandin 2 mg tab without a transcript buy adalat antabuse without a prescription from mexico do you need rx vpxl best site get paroxetine carafate cost cabgolin shopping canada drugs vpxl with prescription can you buy order toprol xl price american ashwagandha deltasone without prescription medication buy tinidazole from india generic arimidex price cipro usanze aleve precio mexico acquisto tamoxifen sicuro online generic bupropion xl recall is generic propranolol effective valtrex 1000 mg a day cheap bactroban desyrel canada head office can tetracycline get you high medrol australia price antabuse tablets for purchase cymbalta generic date mirtazapine 30 mg sleep indian viagra jellyfish online drug clomid to buy in the usa without a prescription buy metronidazole brand name flagyl cheap zerit buy zovirax online in usa thailand government closing online pharmacies pravachol pharmacy prices list where to buy strattera online india dutas 20mg tab diflucan 150 mg precio mexico generic brand cialis for sale on line effexor vs lexapro for anxiety cialis precio mexico mercado libre asacol on line voveran maximum dosage research grade emsam purchase promethazine codeine alli by mail via address what does shatavari how to use beconase aqueous nasal spray uses for doxycycline medication buy norvasc 10mg tablet kamagra tablet 50 mg diclofenac generic equivalent aciclovir over the counter reviews on pancha tulasi moduretic prescription how to get vytorin drug what is levaquin used to treat for methotrexate discounted generic shallaki cost prilosec tablets us online safe places to buy viagra online how to take tamoxifen where can i buy prograf online without a prescription tofranil medication order prxshop products viagra super active plus order abana online sildenafil citrate generic viagra where can i buy viagra tablets uk version of noroxin female cialis drug oversea purchase suprax 200 mg best finpecia prices sinequan for sale usa vermox from mexico antabuse for daily use canada meclizine 25 mg no prescription tofranil cheap uk amantadine australia price cheap albendazole 200 mg reviews on nizoral anti dandruff shampoo is it safe to order keflex danner boots promo code 2012 where purchase erexin-v nizoral 20 mg /g shampoo ketokonazole generic micardis 80 mg is there a generic for zanaflex amitriptyline online in us eulexin ships from india 24 hour delivery viagra from canada penegra online ordering brand viagra price vytorin in canada use ciplox coupon online online sale of augmentin buy bystolic with paypal best place to order arimidex can i order zenegra no prescription in the usa generic compazine buy canada can you order diakof online drugstore what is the cpt code for xeloda prednisone for dogs to treat cancer lov cost keppra brand name wellbutrin sr online pharmacy uk cabgolin tretinoin cream amazon.uk new erectile dysfunction drugs 2012 get moduretic las vegas gabapentin high bluelight can you only get finax on prescription can viagra help maintain an erection order fucidin cream 2 tofranil canada overnight delivery minocin drug class allergy medicine for dogs allegra buy tegretol 200mg buy viagra soft usa domperidone for breastfeeding reviews buspar pharmacy order methotrexate 20 mg week sumycin online usa no prescription generic detrol usa pharmacy can you buy xenical in spain methotrexate order on web med cab arava stieva a cream price comprar orlistat mais barato what is allegra drugs fucidin crema pentru acnee over the counter products like viagra buy cheap female viagra viagra offshore pharmacy tricor price walmart buy v-gel without rx non prescription mentax diclofenac genericon 100 mg beipackzettel abilify weight gain children medicamento vytorin 10/20 mg cozaar cheap us pharmacy order prevacid online no prescription with a visa my zyban coupons buy obagi tretinoin .05 why is aleve not available in canada buy grifulvin low cheap price mexican vytorin meclizine generic equivalent buy prednisolone 80 mg online pariet 20 mg tabletas nizagara tablets india friv 1000 juegos buy cheap trazodone online zyvox online store what does arjuna mean lisinopril 20 mg 12.5 buy zyvox online india aciclovir where to purchase how to use bupropion where to buy prescription medication online can you pharmacy buy discount zebeta cheap kamagra uk com viagra a^??clomiphene for women in store tretinoin cream usp 0.1 used cystone for dogs buy high power viagra ventolin visa trental mg tablet generic exelon buy canada can i get mupirocin over the counter overnight metoclopramide are injectables better than clomid plavix generic release date 2012 cheap tablets purchase abilify half inderal la m/r capsules cialis super active canada online no prescription worldwide pharmacy clomid injectable ivermectin for pigs indian pharmacy congress 2011 pletal generic wikipedia drugs minocin online meds lov cost zyloprim inderal without prescription canada buy coreg online pharmacy what are the side effects of femara glucophage australia pharmacy atarax online forum pills pharmacy diflucan 150 mg tablet diflucan tablet side effects generic singulair usa viagra professional fda approved to buy without prescription indian pharmacy albendazole viagra from india pictures vipro lifescience uk ltd motilium canada can you get periactin what is saw palmetto for women how to use actoplus met where do i albendazole in mexico zyprexa how long to take effect without a script fedex buy adalat hydrochlorothiazide billig kaufen 1 man 1jar naprosyn mg canada buy desyrel with a mastercard what is the half-life of dipyridamole side effects of metronidazole 500mg tablets low cost pharmacy lacon illinois can you order prescription drugs from canada rxlist doxazosin mesylate buy zocor usa eltroxin side effects skin buy pravachol no prescription fast delivery how to get viagra jelly on line prednisona kern pharma 30 mg comprimidos efg current price arimidex where danazol comprar ventolin en argentina where can i get nexium pills recommended cipro dose for uti pyridium without prescription canada erythromycin medicine cheap lithium 5 mg clonidine hydrochloride side effects minocin on line no script buy aricept mg online for propecia half dose side effects elimite with paypal payment cheap suhagra buy online diclofenac gel without prescription saw palmetto supplier in uk buy online rumalaya generic where to buy cialis sublingual ipratropium bromide and albuterol sulfate nebulizer side effects levitra professional 10 mg nombre de pharmacie france what does amitriptyline hcl treat bactrim rx side effects is there a lawsuit against metformin tips for viagra usage norfloxacin and tinidazole tablets how much will cholestoplex cost canadian pharmacy chloramphenicol buy diakof online no prescription us water pills to lose weight walgreens comprar revia portugal zetia pharmacy order water pills online prescription pharmacy buy dutas visa order endep no prescription finpecia tablets side effects genuine viagra canada drugs low price pravachol uk can you buy gasex over the counter comprar propranolol espan~a zyvox coupon online prescription hyaluronic acid pills results prograf mg price avapro spain over counter billig cafergot online kaufen albuterol sulfate inhaler dosage for children use robaxin coupon online medicine coreg 3.125 mg why has artane been discontinued buy tricor boots aspirin tablets for skin buy toprol xl pills flagyl er without prescription lasuna dosage too high the best viagra pills how to get cafergot on line levitra samples for physicians skelaxin online from canada cheap xbox live gold 12 month canada drug stores selling viagra aetna mail order pharmacy kansas city purchase fluoxetine cheap without script albendazole alben in internet order gasex online uk lopressor prescription coupon comprar etodolac original en madrid brand name revia online cialis plus puissant que le viagra can order furosemide canada lowest price aygestin cialis commercial 2013 substitute viagra otc shallaki tablets price best online foreign pharmacy reviews canada no prescription wellbutrin mixing doryx and alcohol buy valtrex online drug rocaltrol delivery uk side effects clomid success stories reglan without self counter where to find lithium batteries hydrea sublingual dosage atarax tablets dogs long term use of nexium what is paxil tablets types of antibiotics for uti cloridrato de sertralina bula medley cystone price india crestor price maximum safe dosage of aleve order retin-a 0,025 overnight l-tryptophan side effects uk diamox uses medication lipothin spain over counter generic from tulasi motilium and other medication how to get biaxin drug ranitidine 150 mg price trazodone online shipping albendazole online no prescription buy generic elimite mist canada what does xalatan treat generic januvia medication order wellbutrin ralista spain what is mobic pills much does valtrex prescription cost forzest from usa acai for sale philippines what does haridra site pour acheter la pilule alli the online drugstore ophthacare cafergot canadian online overnight pharmacy norvasc drugs best phenergan prices chlamydia symptoms in men pictures effexor xr over the counter usa trental ships from india long time side effects brand advair diskus cleocin gel refills aleve coupons canada 2011 para que se usa el diflucan valacyclovir hcl 500mg generic clonidine suppression test cpt code where can i buy relafen beat way to order combivent pharmacy checker uk purchase diovan on line in australia can order xeloda online purchase progaine 5 cheap oz buy duphalac uk exelon careers sign in what does topamax pills look like minocin to buy in the canada without a prescription alli prescription name comprar proscar colombia buy biaxin greece dramamine dosage too high como comprar viagra sin receta en barcelona ventolin nebulizer dose for infant zovirax by mail how to get clozaril drug eulexin online meds reviews on venlor buy effexor online no prescription canada seroquel withdrawal symptoms itching rumalaya gel comprar the matrix red pill blue pill scene script carbozyne with no rx generic proventil usa pharmacy free nexium pills comprar lamisil tabletas cheapest nitrofurantoin to buy aetna rx online pharmacy buy retino-a cream 0,025 no prescription voltaren cheapest rate side effects of valtrex while pregnant how to buy strattera online what is naprosyn used to treat worldwide pharmacy plendil bupropion sr maximum dosage cipa certified online pharmacy std antibiotics online canadian over the counter pain medications viagra super active cheap uk buy generic orlistat online with prescription buy chloroquine mg information on benicar medication cialis professional generic india clomid medication infertility advair diskus tablets us online insulin-international-pharmacy naprosyn lowest price compare prices glyset generic from suprax motilium instant gebruik what is nifedipine er 30 mg statue to meridia map location misoprostol tablets 200 mcg cefixime uk online discount cialis sublingual mg comprar flovent pela internet
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