Sumac Lemonade is made in cold water to preserve its exceptionally high content of vitamin C. Sumac is at its best when harvested while bright red in August, though I have used it much later than that and still turned out a decent lemonade.
15-20 heads of Sumac OR 8 cups Sumac berries
1 gallon cold water
2 cups sugar
1. Place Sumac heads or berries in a large bowl or pot.
2. Pour cold water over then to cover, then set a weighted plate to hold them under the water.
3. Let soak like this for several hours or overnight.
4. Strain using cheesecloth or a cotton bandanna.
5. Add 2 cups sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
6. Chill and serve.
(Optional: 1 cup honey per quart to sweeten. I find that honey tends to dominate rather than enhance the flavor of the Sumac so I prefer using sugar.)
You can buy carbonated water in the liquor section of the grocery store quite cheaply for making your own sodas.
1 quart Sumac Lemonade
1 quart carbonated soda water
Mix the Sumac Lemonade with the carbonated water. You may wish to sweeten it to taste.