Prep 5 mins
Cook 25 mins
Probably the most significant aspect of this beverage is that it's not made from the Sheep's Sorrel Plant -- this is just a name that it has acquired all over Appalachia, due to the use and misuse of common names of plants. This tea is actually made from the Violet Wood Sorrel plant, Oxalis violacea. In any case, Sheep's Sorrel Tea tastes like the best tropical fruit punch you ever had. I consider it a delicacy and few people have ever tasted it. You can identify the Violet Wood Sorrel plant fairly easily as the leaf looks like a clover-leaf, typically growing in the eastern United States in bunches on dry soils, and the underside of each leaf/leaflet is dark purple in color. If you chew one of the small leaves, it will taste very sour. My dad, a locally renowned naturalist, taught me how to make this tea, and now, I am sharing it with you folks. I especially like to make this when I'm out camping and when I'm lucky enough to come across a nice crop of Violet Wood Sorrel. It really is a liquid delicacy. Enjoy!
- Boil the water in a 3-quart pan. Toss in the Violet Wood Sorrel and allow the blend to boil really hard until the brew turns deep purple in color.
- Strain out all the leaves and stems and return the liquid to a slow boil, dissolving the honey until the desired sweetness is achieved. (Sugar or sorghum molasses can also be used as a sweetener).
- Remove from the heat, pour the liquid into a clean jar and refrigerate until it is very cold.
- Serve ice cold with no ice cubes.
Thanks for sharing this folk recipe and giving a good description of its origins! and how to identify the plant!