Recipes from Sumac Season: "Sumac-ade"

Aug 16 / Alberto Carbo
One of the most popular, and apropos preparations during sumac season, is sumac-ade of course! It is a simple thirst-quenching beverage that cools you down in the heat of the summer. The feeling of the sumac oils on your hands is quite unlike any other, and a great way to stimulate the senses, and learn about the textures of the living world.

To learn more about what the tastes of foods and herbs tell us about their medicinal qualities - sour in this case - watch the free class "Tasting and Sensing Herbs" with Lori Rose, PhD.

Both of these are great activities to get kids to participate in.


  • 4-5 large sumac antlers
  • 1 gallon of room temperature or cold water (4 liters)
  • Sweetener of choice

  1. Grab a container (preferably glass) and remove all of the sumac berries into it.
  2. Fill with water.
  3. Allow it to sit in full sun for a few hours – or on your counter if you live in an urban area. Sometimes I leave mine to soak overnight. Play around with it!
  4. Sweeten with your choice of sweetener to taste, or drink it sour!

As always make sure to forage for plants away from roads and pollution as much as possible. Never overharvest any plant, as they are of course not only here for our enjoyment, but also here for the insects, bees, and birds. Have fun out there!
The information provided in this digital content is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. Matthew Wood, the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism, ETS Productions, and their employees, guests, and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.