Mother Earth Living

Briar Patch Medicine: Summer Punch

The herbal treasury that grows in hedges.
By Robert K. Henderson
July/August 1997
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Step into summer early with these three delicious summer recipes.

Makes about 10 cups
Here’s the drink for porch-swing afternoons. Any of these berries will make a refreshing beverage by themselves, but blended together, they offer just the right balance of sweet and tart.

  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 3 cups fresh currants
  • ¼ cup honey (adjust to taste)
  • ½ cup fresh sumac berries
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 5 cups ice water
  1. Liquefy the blackberries and currants together in a blender or food processor. Sieve out the seeds and pour the liquid into a large stainless or nonmetal saucepan. Add the honey and simmer, covered, until the mixture is smooth, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whirl the sumac berries and the water in the blender or processor, then strain through several layers of wet cheesecloth to remove the hairs. Mix the sumac with the ice water, then stir into the blackberry mixture. Chill thoroughly and serve.

Robert K. Henderson combines his interest in herbs, history, folklore, and research in the articles he writes in Olympia, Washington.

Click here to find more great briar patch recipes from the original article, Briar Patch Medicine.








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