News, Views, Happiness Pursued

Amateur Hour

Foraged Teaberry Cordial

by | Oct 7, 2020

Teaberry in the wild. photos/ Jessie Lacey

I hate mint. I used to buy strawberry toothpaste until my boyfriend got sick of that. I only liked the cinnamon mouth wash, and something called “sweet mint” was pretty good, but I should not have mentioned that I liked the bubblegum-flavored mouthwash, which was probably for kids.

We recently went hiking through the woods, and my boyfriend has experience as a camp counselor, which means he feels compelled to pull berries off random shrubs and just plop them in his mouth, saying something like, “I think this is gooseberry,” while I have a panic attack, flipping through the book I got about foraging edible plants in the woods — because that’s how we will survive when society collapses.

To his credit, he hasn’t gotten sick yet, so maybe I should trust him a little more. That being said, he tries everything first.


During this last hike, we went foraging for cocktail ingredients. We found a grove that had five different berry-bearing plants in it. Unfortunately, only a few partridge berries were left this late in the season.

“We can use winter mint leaves,” he said. “These are teaberry and have a flavor like a sweet and subtle mint,” so maybe I would like it. We ended up harvesting a ton of these deep green, shiny, crisp leaves, enough to stuff into a quart of vodka, then added a diabetic-shock-inducing amount of sugar to produce what I consider a tastier, high-end, artisan version of Dr. McGillicuddy’s peppermint schnapps. The Maine forest is literally littered with these sweet, minty ingredients, so get foraging!

Foraged Teaberry Cordial

  • 1 cup roughly chopped teaberry leaves
  • 1 quart of 100-proof vodka
  • 2 cups simple syrup (1 cup water to 1 cup sugar)

Roughly chop the teaberry leaves and combine 1 cup with a quart of vodka in a large Mason jar. Let the mixture sit for three days, at most, occasionally shaking or staring at it. Next, stir 1 cup of sugar into 1 cup of water over medium-low heat. Dissolve the sugar completely and let cool. When the simple syrup has cooled, pour into the teaberry vodka. Congratulations, you just made a Foraged Teaberry Cordial!

Related Posts


We are supported by advertisers and readers, like you, who value independent local journalism. For the cost of one pint of Maine craft beer each month, you can help us publish more content and keep it free for everyone.