Sparkling Sumac Lemonade - Cherokee Images
Sumac Drink
Sumac Drink

Sparkling Sumac Lemonade

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July 22, 2017

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Sumac has a citrus taste similar to, but more complex than lemon or lime. My grandmother used to make sumac drink with just water, sugar, whole sumac berry bundles and the sun. This recipe is a more sophisticated take on a traditional Cherokee recipe.

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • 10 mins

    10 mins

    20 mins

  • Yields: 8 drinks

Ingredients

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

3 tablespoons sumac powder. You can substitute 4 whole wild sumac berry bundles. *

1 cup Club Soda for each serving

1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)

1 lemon cut into slender wedges for garnish

Directions

Make a Sumac Simple Syrup

Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat and allow to cool until just warm.

Once the sugar mixture is cooled to warm, add the sumac power or the sumac berry bundles. Allow the syrup and sumac to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Sumac simple syrup can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

ground sumac

To make the drink

For each drink, in a cocktail glass, combine 1 cup of club soda, 1/4 cup of the sumac simple syrup and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Add ice, stir and garnish with a lemon wedge. Serve immediately, preferably on a wide front porch with a summer breeze.

* Use caution when gathering wild sumac. The edible drupes (the clusters of seeds) of Rhus glabra and Rhus typhina are red when mature. The inedible, poisonous drupes of Toxicodendron vernix, also called poison sumac, are white. Two reputable sources of sumac powder are www.thespicehouse.com and www.penzys.com .

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