Here at Slow Maker Contemporary Studio, one of our favourite natural dye plants is the beautiful Staghorn Sumac. But even if dying fibre is not your jam, picking a few stalks of sumac berries to brew some Sumac Iced Tea is very worthwhile. Truly delicious and simple to make, some people refer to this traditional indigenous beverage as “sumac lemonade.” But to me, this seems a bit of a misnomer. It is definitely more accurate to describe it as a refreshing tea, which has a delightful tartness or tanginess, similar to what you will find with rose hip teas, but perhaps milder in flavour. Simply wash a few freshly foraged, ruby ripe berry cones, then stick them in a pitcher of cold water to steep for an hour or so in the fridge. The water will take on a very appealing, soft, pinky tan colour. The berries are like fuzzy firm beads (which get the liquid a bit fuzzy too), so give the tea a couple of runs through a fine mesh seive before drinking. Serve this drink with frosty ice in a nice clear glass for maximum summer enjoyment. Cheers!

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