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Foraging gets tipsy: How to make an old fashioned and 5 more cocktails with easily foraged items

Forage, mix, drink, repeat

Tincup whiskey and cocktail
Tincup Whiskey

You might be surprised to learn this, but you don’t necessarily need to visit the produce department at your local grocery store or invest in a whole garden of herbs to make delicious, fresh cocktails. If you live near (or within driving distance) of a wooded area, you can forage for cocktail ingredients. Yes, you read that right: Foraging to make an old fashioned, julep, and other whiskey cocktails.

Safety is key when foraging. We’ve all heard the tales of random mushrooms and berries you should never eat. The same goes for almost anything you encounter in the woods. Your best bet is to have a field guide to explain what exactly you’re looking at to know if it’s something you’d actually want to add to a cocktail (and if it’s even safe to consume).

You might be surprised to learn that there are a lot of books on the topic. One great foraging cocktail book is In Backcountry Cocktails: Civilized Drinks for Wild Places by Steven Grasse and Adam Erace. With a book like this, you’ll learn all about fiddlehead ferns, edible flowers, herbs that grow on the forest floor, and what berries you can actually eat (and maybe flavor your cocktail).

Another is Forager’s Cocktails: Botanical Mixology with Fresh, Natural Ingredients by Amy Zavatto. It teaches you how to forage, what to look for, and how to preserve the berries and herbs to use in future cocktails.

To get you started, the folks at TinCup Whiskey came up with six simple and flavorful cocktails using foraged ingredients like mint, honeysuckle, dandelions, wile asparagus, and other herbs and wild ingredients. Keep scrolling to see all of the cocktails below.

Honeysuckle Old Fashioned

Ingredients:
1 ½ oz. Tincup Whiskey
½ oz. Honey Suckle Syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Garnish: Orange Peel

Method: Build ingredients in the order listed directly into a mixing glass, fill the glass ¾ full of cubed ice, and stir for 8-10 seconds. Fill a rocks glass with a heaping amount of ice, strain the cocktail into the iced rocks glass, and garnish.

Honeysuckle Syrup – In a container, stir and dissolve 1 ½ cups of sugar and 2 cups of water. Add 1 cup of freshly picked or bought Honeysuckle flowers, cover the container, and place in the fridge to infuse for 3-5 days. After 3-5 days, train liquid into a bottle or container, discarding flowers.

Flash infusion method – Warm simple syrup and heat to a simmer. Remove from heat and add honeysuckle flowers to the syrup, cover, and leave to sit for 1 hour. Strain finished liquid into a bottle or container, discarding flowers.

(Do not use stems or green leaves, only the blossomed flowers.) Please exercise caution in foraging; only consume identified ingredients verified safe for consumption.

Tincup whiskey and drinks
Tincup Whiskey

5 more delicious cocktail recipes

Honeysuckle Julep

Ingredients:
2 oz. – Tincup Whiskey
3/4 oz.- Honeysuckle syrup
8 Mint leaves
Garnish: Mint sprig

Method: Build all ingredients directly into the glass, stir, fill the glass with shaved or cubed ice, and give a final stir with garnish.

The Wild Berry Daisy

Ingredients:
1 ½ oz. Wild Strawberry infused Tincup Whiskey
½ oz. Simple Syrup
¾ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Garnish: 3 wild Strawberries speared (if large berries, use 1 for garnish)

Method: Build ingredients in the order listed directly into a mixing glass, fill the glass ¾ full of cubed ice, and stir for 8-10 seconds. Fill a rocks glass with a heaping amount of ice, strain the cocktail into the iced rocks glass, and garnish.

Wild Strawberry Infusion – Combine your bottle of Tincup whiskey with freshly foraged wild strawberries in a container. Cover the container and allow it to infuse for three days at room temperature in a dark storage space.

Using a fine tea strainer and coffee filter, strain infused Tincup Whiskey back into the bottle, discarding all berries.

Tip – If you would rather buy store-bought, regular or pink strawberries will also do excellent for you!

The Fisherman’s Cocktail

Ingredients:
2 oz. Tincup Umami Infused Whiskey
Garnish: Can garnish with Dandelions or seasonal flower if desired

Method: Build ingredients in the order listed directly into the coconut, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve with a straw.

If you don’t live in Florida or where water coconut grows wild, you can buy at the local grocery store or use bottled coconut water and sub a rocks glass for the coconut drinking vessel.

The Mountaineers Mary

Ingredients:
1 ½ oz. – Wild Ramp infused Tincup Whiskey
3 oz. – Your favorite Bloody Mary Mix
1 dash – Tabasco
Garnish: A thinly sliced stalk of Wild Asparagus (raw form), lemon & lime wedge, and 2 wild ramp slices

Method: Build all ingredients directly into the glass, stir, fill the glass with shaved or cubed ice, and give a final stir with garnish.

Wild Ramp Infusion – Combine your bottle of Tincup whiskey with freshly foraged wild ramps in a container. Slice the stalks for the ramps into 2–3-inch slices, cutting across the ramp from side to side. Cover the container and allow it to infuse for three days at room temperature in a dark storage space.

Using a fine tea strainer and coffee filter, strain infused Tincup Whiskey back into the bottle, discarding all Ramps. (You can refrigerate and use it as a garnish if used the same day.)

Tip – Asparagus or Leeks will also work well if you would rather buy store-bought.

The Backwoods Sour

Ingredients:
1 ½ oz. – Tincup Whiskey
¾ oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
¾ oz. Simple Syrup
Garnish: Freshly foraged, dandelion and a wild basil leaf

Method: Build all ingredients directly into a mixing glass, fill the mixing glass ¾ full of ice, and shake for 10 seconds. Strain into rocks glass with a heaping amount of ice and garnish.

With all of these drinks, please exercise caution in foraging; only consume identified ingredients verified safe for consumption.

Editors' Recommendations

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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