It has been many moons since I was introduced to sumacade. I can’t even recall who first shared this herbal knowledge with me. But I can see myself standing in the production room in the back of my herbal shop, brewing up this tasty summertime treat for the very first time. And that, like most all of my herbal firsts, is a fond memory ❤
Sumac is a very easy herb to identify. It has only two look-a-likes, poison sumac and tree of heaven. I’ve always been a little bewildered as tp why they are considered look-a-likes for sumac, because they have white fruit/berries and sumacs berry blooms are red.
Nonetheless, they are look-a-likes. And poison sumac is … well … poison.
This is a picture of the type of sumac shrub I gather the material from to make my sumacade. Apart from the difference in the color of the fruit/berries between this bush and it’s two look-a-likes there is another variation you can us to tell them apart.
The sumac used to make ade has serrated edges around the leaves. Poison sumac and tree of heaven’s leaves have smooth edges.
The botanical names for the ade you want to make herbal beverages with are Rhus glabra and Rhus typhina.
In addition to vitamin C, the berries of the sumac shrub contain many beneficial minerals.
Sumac berries were used by Native Americans, Native Canadians, and American pioneers for many ailments. These include; bladder issues, digestive problems, respiratory ailments, and fever. It was also used as a laxative and a diuretic. And to support liver function, as well.
A little sumacade in the fridge throughout late summer and early fall is a good, good thing. It’s such a healthy way to treat yourself well. If you have this incredible berry available to you don’t miss out on the pleasures and benefits it has to offer 😉
Head out to your closest sumac shrub and harvest yourself 3 or 4 clusters of berries. Be sure they are deep red in color, as this indicates that they are ripe.
Bring them home and get out your favorite half gallon pitcher. Or if you have one, grab a half gallon canning jar.
Boil about 2 cups of water and sweeten it with your favorite natural, unprocessed sweetener. This step is done to taste. So remember that these 2 cups of water will sweeten the whole batch of ade. Don’t go overboard. Sweetener is not really healthy. Besides you won’t need much 😉
Pour your ‘sweet mix’ into the vessel you’re using to make your beverage, place the full cones of berries in it too, and then top it off with water.
Let it sit on the kitchen counter until it cools down to room temperature. Then cover it and let it sit overnight.
In the morning pull out the berries, and if you are opposed to the small plant particles left behind being in your drink, line a strainer with a coffee filter and use it to remove them.
And that’s it all! You have made sumacade ❤
The only thing left for you to do now is give it a taste and let me know how that goes for you! Is it a beverage you see yourself making again? A few times a year? Or just once a season? I’d love to know 😉
As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤
DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.