Recipes from Sumac Season: Sumac Syrup

Aug 17 / Alberto Carbo
Another quite easy and versatile preparation is sumac syrup. I’ve used it as a soothing summer cough syrup before, but it is also delicious in a refreshing summer mocktail, as a dessert topping for ice cream and baked goods, or in a peanut butter and infused honey sandwich...the possibilities are endless.

By steeping the sumac berries in hot water, you will notice that you extract many more of the tannins, which imbue the medicine with astringent properties. The astringency works to tighten the tissues of the throat, while the honey coats and soothes irritated tissues. From a culinary sense, the astringency adds another flavor profile to our already versatile ingredient.

Sumac Syrup

  • 1 cup sumac berries
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups honey (you can use any sweetener of choice for culinary exploration, but I would stick to honey to use in a clinical setting)

  1. After detaching all of the berries from the stems, place in a small pot and pour two cups of boiling water over them.
  2. Make sure the berries are submerged and cover the pot.
  3. Steep for 20 minutes.
  4. Strain the berries out.
  5. Slowly but steadily pour the honey into the sumac tea, while continually stirring the honey as it dissolves into the infusion.
  6. Allow to cool and store in the fridge.

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.