So, I’m going to share one of my favorite late summer beverages: Staghorn tea. A web search will turn up plenty of info on the supposed health benefits of this “tea,” which tastes more like lemonade. I make it because it’s tasty, and yeah, the extra Vitamin C is helpful when a cold Maine winter is around the corner! It starts with a Staghorn Sumac tree (no, not the poisonous ones—geez) which produce cones of tiny red berries in late summer. You can pick them or buy them. I pick them because there are lots of them growing near my house.
Fun fact: beekeepers put Staghorn berries in their smokers because it makes the bees extra relaxed (anyone who knows my books is aware that I’m a bit bee obsessed!)
As you can see, I’m currently reading Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince. It’s a dark YA fantasy about magic and the tricky court politics of fae. It pairs well with this slightly wild, tart drink that bites back just a little (unless you sweeten it).
Put a few cones in a large jar or pitcher with cold water and cover with something breathable. Some people use coffee filters, but I keep it simple with a paper towel and a rubber band. Let the whole business sit overnight, then strain well before drinking.
You can sweeten this tart drink, if you like. I do, because it’s a little too sour for my tastes. I like to add agave, but sometimes I go wild and add cane sugar. So there you have it! My favorite summertime non-alcoholic beverage. You are either intrigued or thinking that I must enjoy torturing my intestines. What odd or unusual food/beverages do you make or enjoy eating?
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Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.
What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.
Meg Kassel is an author of paranormal and speculative books for young adults. A New Jersey native, Meg graduated from Parson’s School of Design and worked as a graphic designer before embracing her true passion, writing. She now lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her family, and is busy at work on her next novel. A fan of ’80s cartoons, original Netflix series, daydreaming, and ancient mythology, Meg has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. When she’s not writing, Meg is reading, hanging out with her husband and daughter, hiding her peanut butter cups, or walking her rescue mutt, Luna.