The Enchanted Forest
This recipe makes about 1 quart for the perfect holiday aperitif! The bitter tonic supports a joyful disposition while packing a medicinal punch for cardiovascular, liver, and connective tissue health. For a mocktail, just substitute a strong lemon balm tea for the gin.
FOR THE BURDOCK-ANGELICA BITTERS
¾ freshly chopped burdock root
¼ dried angelica root
FOR THE EVERGREEN SUNSHINE CORDIAL
2 quarts water
3 organic oranges
2 organic lemons
½ organic grapefruit
1 handful chopped rosemary, fresh
1 handful chopped ginger, fresh
1 handful hawthorn berry
1 handful rosehips
2 white pine sprigs, chopped
2 handfuls dried lemon balm (optional)*
Local raw honey, to taste
FOR THE TONIC
1 ounce local gin (for a mocktail, substitute with a strong lemon balm tea)
½ ounce red beet-ginger juice
½ ounce unsweetened cranberry juice
1 milliliter lemon balm tincture
Prepare the Burdock-Angelica bitters 2 weeks in advance
If you want to skip this first step, you can use burdock tincture. Bitters are generally grounding and anti-inflammatory. They help stimulate our liver and digestive fluids to enhance digestion and nutrient absorption. They also help regulate our blood sugar! And functionally, in a cocktail, they bring out all of the other flavors.
Place the roots in a mason jar, cover completely with a neutral spirit, and shake every day for 2 weeks, keeping in a cool, dry place.
Conjure the Evergreen Sunshine Cordial
Peel and juice the oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. Set aside the juice.
Put peels in large pot with water. Add a large handful each of rosemary and ginger, the hawthorn berry and rosehips, and the white pine sprigs.
Bring to a boil and simmer on medium high heat for about 20 minutes. Taste test to ensure desired strength.
(*Optional: If you want to skip buying or making the lemon balm tincture, you can add a couple handfuls of dried lemon balm at this phase to the warm liquid (turn off heat) and cover to keep the aromatics from volatizing into the air. Leave for 10 minutes.)
Strain, then add/dissolve local raw honey (about a half cup, or to taste). Add the juice of the citrus and put in a bottle. Store in refrigerator.
Complete your tonic
Combine remaining tonic ingredients with your Evergreen Sunshine Cordial and Burdock-Angelica Bitters, shake with ice, and serve.