As they lose their striking orange autumn leaves the clusters of fuzzy purple berries or drupes of the Stag Horn Sumac, Rhus typhina stand in contrast to the brilliant blue of the winter skyline. A relative of the cashew nut these tree like shrubs can act as a local alternative to imported lemons both in cooking and when making a ‘lemonade’ drink.
When picking the drupes, especially those outside the UK be sure not to confuse with the poisonous white drupes of the Rhus vernix, an internet image search is a good place to look. Also steer clear of any drupes growing close to a busy road, I had a real shock making this drink in Battersea as rather than a brilliant pink it made a grey/black drink.
The recipe for pink lemonade is as simple as it is delicious.
The lemonade will store for a reasonable amount of time but if you want to extend its life then bottle in plastic bottles, allowing some room at the top and place the bottles in the freezer.