UMAMI MART MATSURI FESTIVAL
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We had such a great time with Emily Han, who spent a Sunday afternoon showing us how to make syrups. Her newest book Wild Drinks and Cocktails, is chock-full of inventive yet simple recipes for shrubs, infusions, syrups, and more. Emily is an herbalist and nature lover who opens readers up to a world of herbs and wild edibles that you could find while walking through the park! Her recipes inspire me to bring different flavor profiles to drinks I make at home, which are more bound to the earth.

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Like White Fir! One of the three recipes that Emily demonstrated how to make was a syrup made by infusing a White Fir tea. It blew my mind! It was minty and piney and would go so well in bourbon or tequila drinks. As someone who is not very outdoorsy, this recipe really made me want to get out more and start foraging for ingredients found in the wild.

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The other two syrups Emily made for us were Citrus and Bay Leaf and Stone Fruit and Ginger. We are right in the middle of nectarine and peach season, so this was perfect.

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Emily grated the ginger right over the pot:

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For the Citrus and Bay Leaf syrup, Emily used Meyer lemons. One thing I learned is that you can forage local California Bay Laurel leaves, which are more potent (stronger and spicier) than the jarred Turkish Bay leaves that you find at the grocery store.

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After the demonstration, Emily signed copies of her books and mingled with the guests. I urge everyone to put Wild Drinks and Cocktails onto your own shelves – these recipes are so creative and unique and not just for cocktails. They are perfect for non-alcoholic drinks and sodas too!




A huge THANK YOU to Emily for leading such an educational demo. And thanks for everyone for coming out.

Photos by Yoko Kumano