Rowan Schnapps

Rowan schnapps - based on fresh and fully ripe rowan berries - has a unique, sweet-acid and slightly bitter taste with notes of crabapple, rose hip, and a little strawberry. The colour is pale red.

Excellent as appetizer or in combination with honey schnapps.

Serve with venison meat, other game dishes, pork, poultry, desserts, cheese and cheese cakes.

Or use the schnapps in jellies, sauces and stews.

Or try to combine rowan schnapps with linden schnapps, maple schnapps, rose schnapps - and dandelion root schnapps.

It makes a highly enjoyable and very harmonious schnapps blend.

Also, see how you can easily...
turn your rowan schnapps into a liqueur.


Rowan tree (mountain ash) with ripe rowan-berries - Sorbus aucuparia

Sorbus aucuparia - (syn. Pyrus aucuparia)

The rowan is a small deciduous tree, also known as mountain ash.

It has small, slender and bright green leaves and highly scented, white flowers growing in umbels.

The tree produces a large number of aromatic, acid berries. When ripe the berries are rust red in colour.

But even the ripe berries are very astringent and bitter to taste, although they become milder and sweeter after the first frost.

The rowan tree is native to England and Scotland - and had a central place in Celtic mythology as the magical tree of life.

It's a very common tree here in Denmark, where it grows all over the country - in open woods, shrubs, windbreaks and field boundaries.

In many home gardens and parks they are planted as ornamentals.

The wood is dense and used for carving and turning.

The berries are rich in vitamin C and used to make jellies, compotes, jams, syrups and wine - and to flavour liqueurs and ale.

Rowan berries are also used in the production of the strong Danish bitters Gammel Dansk (Old Danish) - very popular here in Denmark and other Scandinavian countries.

Both bark and berries are used for medicinal purposes.


Use fresh and fully ripe rowan berries.

Pick them right after the first frost. But before the birds eat them. Put them in the freezer for a couple of days.

Or do as I do - pick them when they are fully ripe but BEFORE the frost and freeze them for a week or more.

Frost makes rowan berries milder and sweeter.


  • Rinse the berries carefully and remove all stems.
  • Leave them to dry in the shadow - on paper towel.
  • Freeze them for a week or more.
  • Put 80 centiliter frozen berries in a clean glass jar with tight fitting lid.
  • Cover the berries with approx. 35 centiliter clear, unflavoured vodka - 40% alcohol content (80 proof).
  • Steep for 1-4 weeks or more in a dark place at room temperature, 18-20°C (64-68°F).
  • Shake lightly and taste it from time to time.
  • Strain and filter your infusion into a clean glass bottle or jar with tight-fitting lid.
  • Store (age) for at least 2 months in a dark place at room temperature before serving.

Note: If for some reason you are not satisfied with your infusion, there are ways to adjust both taste and flavours - click here to see how.

Serve your rowan schnapps at room temperature in suitable glasses. And remember to keep your schnapps bottle tightly closed and in a dark place before and between servings.

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