I hate to talk about making bitters when it's the latest cool thing to explode into the mainstream from Brooklyn. Just pretend I have my fingers in my ears and am going lalalalalalala and haven't heard and am doing my own foraging thing. Except that I'm not. While I have been infusing alcohol with various foraged botanica for a couple of years, now - sweet fern, spice bush berries, Juneberries, beautyberry -I have not made bitters for bitters' sake.
So it's time.
We are at peak wild cherry season right now. The tiny fruit drop off the tall trees when black-ripe, and cause mockingbird squabbles high in the branches. The tree above is in Dumbo, on a quiet cul de sac between a mansion and a sewage plant.
And in Green-Wood Cemetery, raccoon scat at the base of the trees showed ample and pebbly evidence of wild cherry orgies. That place must be rocking at night.
I stopped under the local Cornelian cherry this afternoon and picked a bagful.
And no, I did not go to the trouble of tracking down Everclear, the highest proof alcohol around, so perhaps I am a bitters dilettante. But we'll see. I have some cherry leaves, satisfyingly lethal in large doses, some pits, cracked, the fruit, and a few other bits and bobs.
We'll talk in a month.