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Foraged Ingredients Give Cocktails a Sense of Adventure

Using freshly foraged ingredients in a cocktail creates a whole new drink experience. (Getty Images/Westend61)

Foraged Ingredients Give Cocktails a Sense of Adventure

August 2, 2021 –––––– Brittany Risher, , , ,

"A great cocktail can transport you. It can invoke memories from your past and create a fuller tasting experience,” says Joe Choiniere, bar manager of Forage in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Foraging for your own ingredients enhances this experience, connecting taste buds to location. Finding and using local wild berries, herbs, bark, and more also opens your mixology up to new, surprising flavors, Choiniere adds. Try these forest-to-table drinks for a true taste of the outdoors.

A Walk in the Weeds


Stinging nettle adds some zing to your favorite bourbon.

Get the Recipe: A Walk in the Weeds


Three Trees


A chocolaty rye whiskey and black birch-infused cognac are the base for this "weighty" Sazerac.

Get the Recipe: Three Trees


Six Shilling


Mulberries and Laphroaig create a fruity and smoky spin on a Whisky Sour.

Get the Recipe: Six Shilling


Florida Fashioned


A fresh take on an Old Fashioned created using lemongrass and Irish whiskey.

Get the Recipe: Florida Fashioned


Forage, Substitute, or Buy


Black Birch
Forage: From southern Maine west to southern Ontario, and south through the Appalachian region into Georgia; most abundant in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania
Substitute: Birch Bark
Buy: Mountain Rose Herbs

Stinging Nettle
Forage: Throughout eastern U.S.
Buy:Mountain Rose Herbs

Lemongrass
Forage: Found in the hottest regions of the U.S. Grow your own as a potted plant that can be taken indoors for the winter.
Buy: Local grocer, nursery, or Amazon

Mulberries
Forage: Mid-Atlantic to Florida and west to Nebraska and Texas
Substitute: Fresh blackberries or, in a pinch, fresh raspberries