Poppy Liqueur (Papaver rhoeas)

The poppies have been around for a while now, since April infact. I love their vibrant, lipstick colour.
In English they are known as field poppies, corn poppies or Flanders poppies. In Italian they  are called rosolaccio or papavero and have various regional names. They are sedative, expectorant and good for calming coughs.

Poppies are famous for the First World War and Opium.
 Who doesn't know the famous, moving WWI poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae. It's studied in school here. In the UK Rememberance Day is still known as "Poppy Day".
When I found a recipe for "an alcoholic poppy infusion", however, my first thoughts were  about opium poppies!!!
I was pleased to discover that the opium producing species  is actually a different type of poppy.
The field poppy grows wild on disturbed ground, it likes loosely packed soil and often grows in corn fields and along the edges of fields.

I found this recipe in "L'enciclopedia della cucina Italiana published by La Republica newspaper".
7,2dl 90° alcohol
860g sugar
50g poppy petals
20g cinnamon
9,5dl water.
As I want to try a smaller quantity I have adapted the recipe. It also seems too sweet for my taste and I don't get on well with the dl measurements.

Poppy Liqueur (Adapted Recipe)

20-25g poppy petals (fresh weight)
280ml alcohol (95°)
half a stick of cinnamon
300g sugar
350ml filtered water

Place petals to dry on asorbant paper in a dark,dry place.(Try not to let them touch). This is the most time consuming part of the recipe.

When they are dry they weigh next to nothing.

Place the dried petals in a clean, dry sealable jar.
Don't pack them too tight. Add the cinnamon and alcohol.
Screw on the top (sterilised).
Leave in a dark place for 2 weeks, shaking every now and then.

After 2 weeks, heat the water gently and melt the sugar. Allow to cool and add to the petals/alcohol.
 (I'll have to change to a bigger jar).
Leave for 2 more weeks.
Filter and bottle.

Wait at least a month before serving, preferably two or three. Serve a  small glass as a nightcap to promote a relaxed slumber.

Sweet Dreams....

Further reading
(about poppy seeds causing false positive drug testing)

Poppy Liqueur on Punk Domestics


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Alicia, can't wait to try it......

  2. every summer i have hundreds of poppies in my garden..bring on summer so i can make this..jane

    1. Hi Jane, Here they are more seedpods than petals now!


Thanks for your feedback. Comments are gladly accepted ;)