Sumac Tea of Summacaid is a lovely and refreshing drink to make in the late summer early Autumn. It is made from those lovely red plums of berries you see on top of the Red Sumac, blooming in the early fall. YOu will want to harvest them before the rain washes away all the tartness. TO test a plant for tartness rub your fingers over the berries and lick your fingers, if it's still tart, it's still good. Clip off 8 bunches or so, shake well (lots of spiders love to hide in these) and bring home..
Put then in a pitcher and pour COLD water over the tops of the berry clusters. ( Hot water will pull out the tannins and make the drink bitter). Place in your refrigerator overnight.
In the morning take out the berry clusters and drain the rest through a sieve or fine material like an old T-shirt to strain out the tiny hairs of the berries and other particles.
Add sugar or another sweetener to taste (I like it unsweetened) add a sprig of fresh mint and serve over ice on the last dog days of summer. Enjoy!