Pick 5-6 clusters of sumac berries (from trees that haven’t been sprayed)
Measure a few tablespoons of dried berries
Add the berries to a large glass jug, crush slightly to break down the fruit and cover with cool water. Using hot water will destroy some of the health benefits and leech bitterness from the tannins in the bark. Let the pitcher stand in a sunny spot until the tea “brews” to the desired strength. Depending on your preference, the tea can be quite mild or sour (similar to lemonade).
Strain the tea through cheesecloth to remove small bits of berries, hair and stems. Sweeteners can be added to the brew to taste.
Wild Sumac can be collected once they’ve ripened (usually late July) but before rain washes away the flavourful external coating. There are poisonous varieties as well, so make sure to have an experienced guide or purchase from a reputable supplier.
*be careful with any new food or herb – consult your health practitioner for potential allergic reactions or cross-effects for medications