By Melissa Finn
Acid is more difficult to find in nature than you would expect, so it is always exciting to find a wild food species that offer that element. Japanese Knotweed — an invasion and very abundant wild edible — is really fun to play with. Use it where you would generally see more traditional ingredients. Creating a margarita by combining tequila with a rhubarb tartness, lime and triple sec is a perfect showcase of spring.
To make the Japanese Knotweed Syrup:
- 2 cups chopped Knotweed shoots (approximately 4-6 medium spears)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1.5 cups water
Place knotweed into a bowl or jar sprinkle with the sugar and muddle well with the back end of a wooden spoon or muddler. Let sit at room temperature for 3-4 hours.
Muddle mixture intermittently. The sugar will start to dissolve and draw out the liquid from the knotweed.
Once the mixture has a syrup and the sugar has mostly dissolved, add water and let sit overnight in the fridge. Strain out the next day and store in the fridge.
Note: Feel free to play around with other delicious spring treasures in your maceration as well.I have added fresh pine needles or frozen cranberries and wild ginger from the previous fall. It is hard to go wrong. This syrup would be lovely in desserts and can be kept in the fridge for up to a month.
- 2 oz Reposado Tequila (or Mezcal)
- 0.5 oz Triple Sec
- 1 oz Lime juice
- 2 oz Knotweed syrup
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and top generously with ice.
Shake well, strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and garnish with a knotweed spear.
About Melissa Finn
Melissa Finn is a wild food enthusiast and hunter that tells stories through cocktails and wild food.