Wild Table with Savage Arms: Wild Sumac Gin & Tonic

This one's for the adults in your family, after the guns have been put away ... Cheers!

posted on November 22, 2023

Today's Wild Table with Savage Arms highlights something of a departure from the usual wild-harvest recipe! This time around, the chefs at Savage show you how to light up the holidays with an adult beverage that blends a number of wild flavors, including juniper, citrus and an unusual part of a forager's harvest: wild sumac. (Of course the rules of gun safety demand that this beverage be enjoyed responsibly, after the firearms have been put away!)

Wild sumac is a woody plant that thrives on drier soils, but which you might also find on low ground. Its native range is from New England south to Georgia west to Michigan, Iowa, Missouri and Mississippi. It also occurs in South Dakota, Kansas and Utah, and it's widely cultivated for its quick growth and attractive cover. It can grow as a dense set of shrubs or as a tree, from 1 to 11 yards high. 


  • For a stronger flavor, try soaking the sumac in the tonic instead of the gin, making sure to seal the mason jar and keep most of the carbonation from escaping. 
  • Adding this many complimentary flavors means that it's acceptable to use inexpensive gin; it's unlikely you'll taste the difference from premium brands.
  • While gathering the sumac, take care to avoid the prickly branches with protective clothing. You may find it easiest to cut the branches from the tree or bush, and then remove the berries by shaking them over a tray. Ripe berries are a deep red color; be sure to discard any that aren't. 


  • Sumac
  • Gin
  • Tonic Water
  • Ice
  • Lime


  1. Put Sumac drupes in a mason jar and cover with tonic
  2. Seal and place in the fridge for a few hours
  3. Fill a glass with ice and add gin
  4. Pour strained tonic over and garnish with a lime



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