In her small classic, The Country of the Pointed Firs, Sarah Orne Jewett writes of a 19th-century New England herbalist whose spruce beer is the stuff of which memories are made. Our version is less complex and more tonic, but very refreshing. MAKES 1 GALLON OF SPRUCE BEER
• 2 quarts fresh spruce tips, packed
• 1 gallon water
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/8 teaspoon yeast
1. Simmer spruce tips in water for 1 hour.
2. Strain out spruce, then stir in sugar and let cool to lukewarm.
3. Add yeast, let stand 1 hour, then bottle as for root beer (see Herbal Soda: Making Root Beer).
Kathryn Kingsbury is a freelance writer who enjoys turning her kitchen into a culinary chemistry lab.
Click here for the main article, Fresh Clips: Make Your Own Herbal Soda.