What exactly is a bounce? Rumor has it that cherry bounce was one of George Washington’s favorite tipples, and Martha’s recipe for the beverage survives to this day. In this foraged version, I’ve substituted chokecherries for cultivated cherries, and rye for the more traditional brandy. And while many bounce recipes are heavily spiced with cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, I’ve kept it simple with just three ingredients. Once you’ve made the base infusion, you can enjoy it any way you’d like: poured over a single large ice cube, sipped neat from a coupe, combined with a sploosh of seltzer, or garnished with a few Luxardo cherries. Any way you drink it, Chokecherry Bounce is an exceptional adult beverage. Read more
Every June I look forward to making elderflower champagne, but this year constant rain has washed away the elderflower pollen, with its natural yeasts and fragrance. If there’s no scent, I don’t bother. Fortunately, milkweed stands up to our wet weather, and the color, scent, and flavor of this milkweed flower cordial are outstanding, rain or shine!
Many foragers appreciate stinging nettles as mild-flavored, nutritious, spring greens. We use them in pasta, stews, and soups. But not everyone realizes that stinging nettles can also make a tasty wild beverage. Stinging nettle cordial is a refreshing herbal drink that can be enjoyed on its own or in a flavorful adult beverage. Read more
Wineberry season happens to coincide with the birthday of a very dear friend, so I named this wildcrafted cocktail after her. It combines the vivid beauty and flavor of wineberries (fresh or frozen) with the more delicate color and taste of elderflowers. Finish it off with your favorite clear spirit. Mine is The Botanist Gin. Read more
Who doesn’t appreciate a cool craft cocktail at the end of a hot summer day? (That’s a rhetorical question.)
If you live where there are sassafras trees, consider yourself lucky. It’s not only a beautiful tree in the landscape, but its three edible parts make it useful and tasty as well. Here’s my latest sassafras recipe. Read more
Spring is for elderflowers, and these blooms are good for a lot more than flower arrangements. As pretty as they are, the thing I like most about elderflowers is making elderflower champagne. The magic ingredient is the natural yeast in elderflower pollen. This allows for fermentation without adding packaged yeast. Read more
Two years ago I went to Denver to forage with my theretofore e-friend Butter Wilde. (I’m notorious for inviting myself to visit people, so beware.) On a rainy afternoon, we were distracted from our morel hunting by the scent of plum blossoms. It was so intense I knew it had to be captured in a cocktail. Read more
Balance is crucial to a good cocktail, and the Kentucky Belle is balanced as hell. Sweet, warm, Kentucky bourbon; tart crabapples; spicy, wild ginger ale; and (if you’re so inclined) a pickled, crabapple garnish. Read more
Sometimes I wonder if my friends only like me for my cocktails.
Do they think I’m a pushover because I make them a wildcrafted adult beverage whenever they ask?
Ha! Joke’s on them. They’re actually helping me by drinking my foraged cocktails. Read more