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  • Writer's pictureAngie Jackson

Sip the Season: A Crimson & Clover Cocktail and Hot Toddy

A Botanical Gin Punch, Hot Toddy, or Alcohol-Free Elixir: A refreshing drink for warmer days and a soothing hot toddy for cooler evenings. Learn to craft an enhanced culinary recipe that welcomes Spring.

Wild violets

As spring awakens, nature paints our backyards with vibrant splashes of color. Delicate violets peek through the greening grass, while dandelions puff out their golden crowns. These cheerful botanicals, along with fragrant red clover, sweet honey, and romantic rose petals, can be blended and steeped to create delightful elixirs that capture the very essence of the season. But beyond their beauty, these ingredients boast a bounty of health benefits:

Hibiscus: Known for its beautiful ruby-red hue, hibiscus is a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants. It may also help lower blood pressure. Be sure to consult with a doctor before consuming if you have existing blood pressure concerns.

Red Clover: Rich in isoflavones, red clover has been traditionally used to support hormonal balance, particularly during menopause. It's also packed with antioxidants to combat free radicals and may contribute to bone health and healthy digestion.

Rose Petals: Not just for romance, rose petals are surprisingly versatile. They contain vitamins and antioxidants, and some believe they may offer mood-lifting properties.

Dandelion: Don't underestimate this sunny weed! The entire dandelion plant is edible and boasts a long history of medicinal use. Dandelion root is a classic liver tonic, traditionally used for joint pain, eczema, and as a blood toner and mild diuretic. Dandelion leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals, while the flowers are high in vitamin C and beta-carotene, an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A.

Wild Violet: These delicate purple flowers aren't just pretty! Wild violets have been used for centuries to address a variety of ailments. They have a cooling and healing effect, making them helpful for soothing skin irritations like eczema. Wild violets may also help with respiratory issues like coughs, bronchitis, and congestion due to their expectorant properties.

Honey: A natural sweetener, honey offers a touch of sweetness while providing a source of antioxidants and antibacterial properties.

Let's explore two ways to enjoy a "Crimson & Clover" infusion – a refreshing cocktail for warmer days and a soothing hot toddy for cooler evenings.

Fun Facts

Did you know Tommy James is from Niles, Michigan? Here's a fun fact about Tommy James and "Crimson and Clover":

The song was a surprise hit that ended up changing the band's direction. Originally, Tommy James had a marketing plan for the song's release, but a radio station in Chicago secretly recorded the music when James played them a rough cut. By the time he left the building, the station was already playing their unfinished version! The song had to be rushed to press based on this recording, scrapping the marketing plan entirely. Despite this setback, "Crimson and Clover" became a huge success, launching the band into the psychedelic rock genre and paving the way for future hits like "Sweet Cherry Wine" and "Crystal Blue Persuasion"

Crimson & Clover:

1 ounce fresh lemon juice

1 ounce Ginger Honey Syrup*

1 1/2 ounce gin (optional)

1 dropper Elixir Orange Bitters*

Prepare teas as directed and stir in remaining ingredients until well blended. For a cold punch, allow the tea to cool to room temperature. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Stir well. Garnish with fresh dandelions and violets.

Pick a gin that has floral qualities, instead of the traditional London Dry Style. Many craft distilleries produce incredible, small-batched gins distilled with locally grown grains and botanicals. Sierra and I are both botanical gin enthusiasts! We've even had the opportunity to design formulas for gins made by Michigan craft distilleries. Suppose you're interested in creating your own botanical gin. In that case, you can find a recipe for Lilith Botanical Gin in the book "Drink the Wild: Recipes From the Apothecary of a Kitchen Witch for the Spirited and Sober Soul." This book offers recipes for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

I first met Sierra Bigham, and experienced her Bear Earth Herbals, wild-foraged teas, in July 2016 on my first herb walk at Crosshatch Center for Ecology & Arts during their annual "Skill Swap" event at Earthwork Farm in Lake City, Michigan. Order Ramblin Rose from or use a hibiscus tea sourced locally to you!

Check out upcoming workshops and book releases at The Elixir House!

Recipe by Angie Jackson. Photographs by Angie Jackson and Canva.

Article by Angie Jackson.

Follow Elixir House on Facebook and Instagram for more! @theelixirhouse

Important Notices

Do not try self-diagnosis or attempt self-treatment for serious or long-term problems without first consulting a qualified medical herbalist or medical practitioner as appropriate. Do not exceed any dosages recommended. Always consult a professional practitioner if symptoms persist. If taking prescribed medicines, seek professional medical advice before using herbal remedies.


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