Ash Cider recipe (Frenette) using green leaves

Ash Cider (aka Frenette) using ash leaves without manna ash

Frenette is a mildly alcoholic drink made from fermented ash leaves. Read more about it’s history and the type of ash and leaves to use by clicking here.

To make 20 litres. Alcohol content will be around 2% to 5%, averaging 3.5%.
25 litre brewing bucket

200 ash leaves with bitter stalks removed
20 litres of rainwater or soft, de-chlorinated water
25 g roasted chicory or roasted dandelion root
2 g dried hops (optional)
15 g tartaric acid (Cream of Tartar) or 25ml lemon juice
16 g (2 sachets) bakers or brewers yeast. I recommend Vintner’s Harvest Yeast SN9 (Saccharomyces Bayanus) which you can get from most wine making supply shops.
1 kg raw cane sugar

Put the leaves into a large stockpot, cover with water (about 2 litres), bring to the boil and gently simmer for half an hour. Add the chicory or dandelion root and simmer for a further 15 minutes. (If you’re using hops, add it 5 minutes after the chicory.) Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Take 250ml of the hot infusion off and dissolve the cream of tartar in it.

Filter the leaves off the infusion when cool enough to handle, by pouring the liquid into your brewing bucket through a muslin bag.

Dissolve the sugar in 500ml of hot water, and the yeast in 250ml of warm water (about body temperature 35°C). All these with the tartaric acid solution to the brew bucket and top up to 20 litres with warm water.

Leave it to ferment in a dark room, covered with a folded muslin cloth. Each day, skim off any foam that has formed on the top.  After 10 days check that the liquid level has not fallen too low and if necessary add a little more tepid water. Fermentation will last anywhere from 15 to 60 days depending on the room temperature. The warmer the room, the quicker the frenette will ferment. Once it has stopped bubbling, it has stopped fermenting.

This is more accurate to work out if you have a hydrometer.  When it reaches 1008/1010 after a slow fermentation, rack it off and bottle it. Cork the bottles and leave them on their side for 2 weeks. Do not shake the bottles before serving as there may be a fine yeast deposit.

Best served chilled!


  1. Recipes on French sites, for 20 L they use 20g of dried leaves (picked early summer and let to dry in the shade) so 2 Kg of fresh leaves (200) seems off somehow… 200 green leaves would weigh about 200 g not 2000g
    So, I’m confused… Thanks for any clarification 😉

    • I know in France there is more mannitol exudate on the leaves because of the sunshine so perhaps they can get away with using so little because the sugar content is higher. Fresh leaves also weigh about 10 times more than dried leaves. When I make it I always approximate by eye so can’t remember when I last weighed them so have corrected it to 200 leaves to avoid confusion. I do use a lot and will weigh it again next summer. There is never an exact method for traditional brews and everyone has their own way and own family recipe. .

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