It is often said that what goes up must come down – including the Christmas decorations which took hours to arrange and will no doubt take just as long to put back in their boxes.
For many festive revellers, the first week of January brings the dread of knowing the Christmas tree needs to be dealt with as we begin the arduous task of taking off baubles and undoing strings of Christmas lights before whisking the tree off to the nearest bank.
However, for the eco-friendly among us who don’t want to see their tree tossed into the compost, there are plenty of ways to give your tree a new lease of life, such as eating or drinking the pines.
A TikTok trend sees people using branches from their Christmas trees to make pine needle tea, boiling pots of water containing pre-washed pine leaves and branches and drinking the broth – and many claim it even heals sore muscles.
Struggling to decide what to do with the Christmas tree once you’ve taken it down? Some people are turning their branches into food and drink, making concoctions such as pine tea (stock image)
Speaking to the Observer, food writer Julia Georgallis said people could eat ‘pretty much the whole thing’ when it comes to the Christmas tree – although there are a few more conventional recipes chefs turn to.
She revealed the pine leaves can be used in the same way as rosemary or bay leaves to infuse other ingredients with flavour.
However, there are plenty of other uses for pine leaves for those wishing to use up their Christmas tree in different ways – with many people making festive drinks from the leaves.
Some online have used the pine needles to make syrup – adding the leaves to a pan with sugar and water and bringing it to the boil.
Food writers and chefs have revealed how you can give your Christmas tree a new lease of life after December (stock image)
Bars and restaurants are also using pines and pine syrup to create festive-themed cocktails.
The Cambridge Gin Lab has created several festive drinks using pine needles including a frosted pine martini, containing gin, rosemary syrup and vermouth, and garnished with a little touch of Christmas tree in a martini glass.
Julia, who has has penned a book called How to Eat Your Christmas Tree, is hosting a supper club in Leyton, east London in the first week of January.
Her menu includes a pinenut fudge brownie served with pinenut brittle and white pine tea.
Another chef who has been using pine ingredients for the best part of two decades is René Redzevi, who runs the Michelin-starred Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark.
He told the weekend newspaper he forages his own pine needles from the forest and can tell the difference in taste between a younger tree and a more mature tree.
Noting that the ingredient is incredibly versatile, he said it can be crushed up to put into alcohol and vinegar – which can then be used to pickle vegetables.
However, he warned that, for people looking to forage pine needles, it is important to only look for organic trees which have been grown without pesticides.