One of the things I have been trying to do is find wild ingredients that I can use to make cocktails. Either as a garnish or as part of the drink itself. A few years ago I was playing around with sumac tea and had mixed in some bourbon and it made a very good cocktail. I had also made a Mimosa of sorts with Proseco and sumac.
The base of these drinks is this sumac tea that is very simply made. Right now the sumac berries are full of pollen and if you grab the clusters they are slightly sticky. snap off a bunch of those staghorn sumac clusters and pour 2 quarts of room temperature water over them. stir it around with a wooden spoon and agitate the clusters to release the flavor. then strain and filter the tea. IF you taste it at this point it has a very citric taste almost like lemon. At this point you can add sugar to sweeten it up for two quarts I mix in a cup of sugar and that gives it just the right amount of sweet while leave it slightly tart.
The tea is ready to drink at this point or to mix into a cocktail. I made two new varieties here. the first is a take on a gin sour that I have been enjoying. It is 2 parts gin, to 2 parts sumac with a tablespoon or so of simple syrup. I like to drop an egg white into it and shake vigorously with ice. when you pour it into a class the egg whites come to the top and you can drop some bitters on to it. I like to use some molasses bitter made by Bitter cube.
The second cocktail is kind of a Daiquiri of sorts, 1 part rum to 3 parts sumac with one dropper full of the molasses bitters. As a twist for this drink I put some Pernod in a spritz bottle and give the empty glass a couple of sprays of the Pernod. The aromas of the Anise and the rum go really well together and make a delicious cocktail.