A fine souvenir from the Dachstein territory


made by a Spotted nutcracker/Tannenhäher/Nucifraga caryocatactes and myself: His gift was to put down two blue resinous cones of „Swiss“ Stone pine/Zirbe or Arve/Pinus cembra on the ground, so later I was able to give them in a glass and fill it up with destilled apricots.


Very soon the clear destillate became red, after two weeks I have to taste this best medicine and traditionally there is to add some honey or sugar and maybe some herbs and sometimes other sectret ingredients. My own „STONE PINE SPIRIT“/ "ZIRBERL"/Spiritus cembricus ;) (no idea if this is correct Latin) will be the product, but he medicine is Pinus cembra itself! 
 Pinus cembra is an extraordinary tree you can find only in special places in the Alps up to 2400 m. This survival specialist can grow till the boarder of the „eternal“ ice, the glaciers. In this harsh environment their growth is very slowly and it needs 40 to 80 years till a tree produces seeds (and cones, of course) the first time. After that this happens only all 6 to 10 years, otherwise they can reach the age of 1000 years.


 The cones have to be harvested when they are young and soft. Then they are blue with drops of resin on it. (Once they are solid and brown you only could pick out the seeds to produce a destillate.) But that is a hard and even a dangerous job! The cones are hanging high and only at the branches´ ends – we can confirm this and had no chance to get any cones without the nogo of damaging trees. That fact is also a problem for stone pines and a reason for their  protection. The good news: Here and there you can buy cones or nearly everywhere in the Alps you can get the finished product up to high quality!


So I was really pleased about the Nutcracker´s gift! Two cones are enough for 500 to 1000 ml liquid medicine, depending the receipe you follow. Enough for my first try! J



  • Take 2 - 5 blue cones, cut them into clices (they look like red slices of lemon) or cubes and

    give them into a glass. Then fill it up with destilled fruits or corn and close it.

  • Place it on a warm place for two weeks or three

  • and shake it daily.

  • Then taste it and add some sugar – or better: honey.

  • If the taste is still too strong add more destilled fruits or corn.

  • Secret receipes can have some more ingredients, but I don´t know them …

  • Cheers, nastravi, skool, salute … J


    What´s to expect?

    In every case a warm stomach, but it is also said that it helps against heartburn (cardialgia), cold of bronchia, caugh, head cold and influenzal infection by stimulating detumescence, breathing and working as an expectorant.

    Without sugar it is used as a liniment to boost blood circulation, so it supports regeneration of muscles and works against rheumatism, cold knees, ...   

  Not so bad, isn´t it? :)