Sea Buckthorn Schnapps

Sea buckthorn schnapps - based on fresh and fully ripe sea buckthorn berries - has a very special, sweet-acid taste and a beautiful golden colour. Some people don't like it, while others praise it highly.

Serve with venison meat, other game dishes, pork, poultry, fish, marinated herrings, desserts, ice creams, cheese and cheese cakes.

Or use the schnapps in your marmalades, jams, jellies, fish sauces, fruit sauces, stews, and marinades for beef, fish and grilling.

Excellent as after-dinner drink.

Sea buckthorn schnapps blends very well with...
vanilla schnapps · ginger schnapps · lemon balm schnapps · lime schnapps · apple schnapps.

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

Sea Buckthorn

Hippophae rhamnoides

Sea buckthorn is a dense, deciduous tree or shrub with thorny branches. It can grow up to a height of about 12 meters, and has an extensive root system. Sea buckthorn is also known as sallow thorn.

The lance-shaped leaves are grey-green above and silvery underneath.

The tiny, yellow-green flowers appear before the leaves, and male and female flowers appear on separate shrubs or trees.

Sea buckthorn berries - Hippophae rhamnoides

In autumn the plant bears clusters of juicy berries that range in colours from yellow, orange, to red. They have a very sour and sharp taste.

The berries are tightly attached to the branches and don't easily come of. Berries remain on the shrubs or trees throughout the winter.

Sea buckthorn is native to Europe and Asia. It's a very resilient plant that grows in sandy soil along coastal areas, and can be found wild in many parts of the world.

It's very tolerant of weather extremes, and an ideal plant for hedging, windbreaks, and soil stabilization.

Also, it's widely planted as an ornamental shrub or tree because of its decorative foliage and coloured berries.

Here in Denmark, sea buckthorn grows wild - mainly in the sand dune areas at the west coast of Jutland (Jylland).

But sea buckthorn is also found on clay and chalk cliffs at the south and east coast in Jutland, and on some of the islands - the chalk cliffs of Møn (Møns Klint), for instance.

Sea buckthorn berries are very rich in antioxidants and belong to the most nutritious and vitamin-rich fruits found.

The essential oil extracts from the berries are used in alternative medicine, dietary supplements and anti-aging products.


Use fresh and fully ripe sea buckthorn berries.

It's very important that they are fully ripe, because even one or two unripe berries will ruin the taste.

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 the berries milder and sweeter.


  • Rinse the berries carefully.
  • Leave them to dry in the shadow - on paper towel.
  • Freeze them for a week or more.
  • Use a clean glass jar with tight-fitting lid.
  • Fill the jar with frozen berries.
  • Fill up with clear, unflavoured vodka - 40% (80 proof).
  • Steep for 2-3 months 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 6 months in a dark place at room temperature before serving. The longer you store it, the better it gets.
  • Filter once more.

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 sea buckthorn 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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