Sumac Lemonade is a refreshing twist on the classic lemonade with the addition of dried sumac powder. Make it using my easy recipe (vegan, gluten-free).
About Sumac Lemonade
Sumac Lemonade is a delicious twist on the classic lemonade recipe with sumac (a lemony-earthy flavored spice) added to it.
To make this version, a simple syrup infused with dried sumac powder (or staghorn sumac drupes) is made and this syrup is then added to the regular lemonade ingredients to give it a very earthy, refreshing, and unique taste.
This delicious lemonade can be made using dried sumac spice powder or fresh berries. I personally like to use dried powder as it is much easier to source and can be made throughout the year.
You can add a splash of white gin, vodka, or tequila to it to make a lovely cocktail for your next house party.
My recipe will make sumac syrup enough to make 10 glasses of lemonade. You can easily double or triple the recipe if making it for a crowd.
This drink is vegan and gluten-free.
Here are some more lemonade recipes that you may like
- Rosemary Gin Lemonade
- Activated Charcoal Lemonade
- Strawberry Basil Lemonade
- Mulberry Lemonade
- Mango Ginger Lemonade
- Litchi Lemonade
For The Sumac Syrup – To make the syrup you need just 3 ingredients – ground sumac, sugar, and water.
Sumac is a vine or shrub-like tree that grows in subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world, including East Asia, Africa, and North America, mostly in the wild.
It has small berries (called drupes) that are tart and citrusy in taste. It can be used in many recipes and is loaded with health benefits.
You can use fresh sumac berries to make this lemonade if they are available to you or use dried powder as I did.
Dried sumac powder is easily available in grocery stores or online. Check the spice section of the grocery store.
You can replace sugar with honey or maple syrup.
To Make The Lemonade – Sumac syrup is mixed with club soda (soda water), or seltzer and freshly squeezed lemon juice to make this refreshing drink.
You can replace lemon juice with lime juice too.
How To Make Sumac Lemonade From Powder
Make Sumac Syrup
Combine 2 cups of water and 2 cups of granulated sugar in a medium saucepan.
Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.
Reduce the heat to low and cook for 4-5 minutes. Stir occasionally while cooking.
Remove the saucepan from the heat.
Add 3 tablespoon ground sumac to the saucepan, stir to combine, and allow to infuse for 15 minutes.
Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer or a coffee filter.
This syrup is good enough to make 8-10 glasses of lemonade.
Make The Sumac Lemonade
Add 4-5 ice cubes to a tall serving glass.
Pour ¼ cup of sumac syrup into the glass.
Top with 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice and top the glass with club soda or seltzer and stir gently.
Check for sweetness and add more syrup if you like your drink sweeter.
Garnish with a slice of lemon and a few mint leaves and serve immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
Clean a large sumac cluster and remove any kind of extra sticks or leaves clinging to them. Break the drupes and remove the sumac berries from the sticks. Place these berries in a bowl with 2 cups of cool water and crush the berries using the back of the spoon or a potato masher. Let them sit for 6 hours or overnight in water. Strain the water using a fine mesh strainer and use it to make the lemonade.
Sumac leaves tend to change their color from bright yellow or green to red or orange in late summer or in early fall. This is the perfect time to forage for sumac. Look for red cone-shaped sumac flowers with clusters of soft edible pink peppercorns like berries on them. Read more about it here.
I would suggest you make fresh sumac lemonade at the time of serving. You can prepare the sumac syrup and store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 5-6 days.
Use a clean and dry spoon every time you use the sumac syrup.
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Dried Sumac Lemonade Recipe
For The Sumac Syrup
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons ground sumac
For The Lemonade
- ¼ cup sumac syrup
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or lime juice)
Make Sumac Syrup
- Combine water and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook for 4-5 minutes. Stir occasionally while cooking.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Add ground sumac to the saucepan, stir to combine, and allow to infuse for 15 minutes.
- Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer.
- This syrup is good enough to make 8-10 glasses of lemonade.
Make The Sumac Lemonade
- Add 4-5 ice cubes to a tall serving glass.
- Pour ¼ cup of sumac syrup into the glass.
- Top with 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and top the glass with club soda or seltzer and stir gently.
- Check for sweetness and add more syrup if you like your drink sweeter.
- Garnish with a slice of lemon and a few mint leaves and serve immediately.