In this cocktail we’re going to recreate a classic but often overlooked ingredient, the shrub. A shrub is basically a vinegar syrup. Trust me, you want to try it. Staghorn Sumac grows wild throughout the Northeast and Midwest. It has a wonderfully tannic, bright citrus flavor reminiscent of hibiscus tea with lemon. Ask your wild-eyed outdoorsy friend to point some out to you. Here’s a good guideline for foraging sumac. Once you know what it looks like you’ll see it everywhere.
Steep destemmed sumac berries in equal parts water overnight. Strain sumac tea and add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 4 tablespoons local honey per cup of tea. The honey may cause it to cloud, but let it sit for an hour or so and it should settle to the bottom. Now you’ve made a shrub from a shrub.
In a tumbler, mix 2 oz Coppersea Raw Rye Whiskey and 1 oz Sumac Shrub over ice. Add a splash of orange flower water, chill and strain into a coupe or stemmed glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. You can also make this into a refreshing long drink by serving over ice with a nice local hard cider. For brunch, ya know.