Sumac Lemonade Sumacs are not all poisonous. There are some that are called 'poison sumac' because they are but their flowers and berries are white and drooping. The varieties we have in southern New Hampshire are either 'staghorn sumac' or 'smooth sumac' and have RED berries. These can be used to make a delicious summer drink.
To make lemonade, clean a large handful of the red berries. Place them in a saucepan and crush them a bit to release the juice. Pour boiling water over the berries so that they are just barely covered. Steep until the liquid is colored. Strain through cheesecloth to get rid of any solids or hairs that might have stayed on the berries. Add sugar to sweeten. Refrigerate for a cold drink, or warm it for a hot one.
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