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Sumac Mocktail Drinks Three Ways

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Foraging and Sumac Steeping Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 53 mins
Course Drinks
Servings 8 (5-10 individual drinks)

Ingredients
  

Sumac-ade Drink Base

  • 8 c cool water don't use hot or boiling!
  • 4 staghorn sumac cones around 4" to 6" long

Blackberry Pepper Sage Simple Syrup Base

  • 1 c water
  • ½ c blackberries fresh or thawed
  • ½ c sugar
  • 1-2 T culinary lavender buds 1 T if dried, more like 2T if fresh
  • 6 leaves sage bruised, then coarsely torn
  • 2 t rainbow peppercorns coarsely cracked

Bitter Forager's Rescue Drink

  • 1 oz blackberry syrup base (or slightly more to taste)
  • 4 oz sumac-ade base
  • 1 splash cocktail bitters Angostura or your own blend
  • 4 oz tonic water

Fizzy Forager Drink

  • ¼ c wild blackberries
  • 4 oz sumac-ade base
  • 1 oz blackberry syrup base (or slightly more to taste)
  • 4 oz club soda

Foray Sunrise Drink

  • 4 oz sumac-ade
  • 4 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz blackberry syrup base (or slightly more to taste)
  • 1 slice orange

Instructions
 

For the Sumac-ade Base

  • Break up the cones of sumac in a pitcher or large liquid measuring bowl and cover with cool water. Mash the berries around with your fingers for a minute or two, then set aside to steep. (Very fresh cones might only take 30 minutes, while drier, less sour ones might need to steep overnight.)
  • Strain through a fine mesh or coffee filter and refrigerate. (At this point, you can sweeten to taste and use as a stand-alone drink if you aren't going to move on with the mocktails.)

For the Blackberry Syrup Base

  • Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan and heat to boiling over medium-high heat, "mushing" the blackberries with the back of a fork to release juices. Once boiling and fragrant, remove from heat, strain, and cool to room temperature. Set aside while you make the rest of the recipe, or refrigerate for later.

Bitter Forager's Rescue

  • Using well-chilled ingredients, add the syrup to a tumbler or tall drink glass. Next, add the sumac drink base, a splash of bitters and 2-3 ice cubes. Top off with tonic water. (You may use slightly more or less of the tonic water depending on the size of your glass.) Garnish with a lavender bud "swizzle" or a sprig of sage leaves or flowers.

Fizzy Forager

  • (Use well-chilled ingredients.) Muddle (lightly mash) the blackberries in the bottom of a tumbler or tall glass. Add the sumac drink base, then the syrup and 2-3 ice cubes. Top off with club soda. (You may use slightly more or less club soda depending on the size of your glass.) Garnish with a lavender bud "swizzle" or a sprig of sage leaves or flowers.

Foray Sunrise

  • Using well-chilled ingredients, add the sumac base to a tumbler or tall drink glass. Next, add the orange juice. Slowly pour in the syrup on one side of the glass. You want it to sink to the bottom and help make nice layers for the "sunrise". Garnish with an orange slice.

Notes

Notes: Feel free to adjust syrup amounts to your own personal tastes. Huckleberries or other wild berries (fresh or frozen and thawed) would work well as substitutes in the Fizzy Forager. My recipes almost always get tested on my family (including kids) first - hence the "mocktails". Nothing preventing you from adding a splash of whatever to make a it a proper cocktail. Let me know how it goes!
Keyword blackberries, Foraged, Mocktail, Sumac, Sumacade, Summer Drinks, Wild food recipes