Herbal Soda: Spruce Beer Recipe

Try out this easy-to-make tonic Spruce Beer recipe.

| June/July 2012

  • Use fresh spruce trips for a very satisfying and refreshing spruce beer.
    Photo by Inger Anne Hulbaekdal/Fotolia

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.  

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