This is an odd tall drink I invented with my local trees as inspiration. Make the tea and ice cubes ahead as described below and the drinks themselves are ready fast! I live by a birch-hemlock forest, where chaga and reishi grow abundantly. Varietal apple orchards dot nearby hills. And our roads are lined with sugar maples; the sap runs wild in late winter. This earthy-tasting drink celebrates the local harvest of all of these. For a virgin version, replace the brandy with equal parts of tea and cider. Cheers.
To do ahead: make the spiced reishi and chaga tea and then ice cubes:
Brew two walnut-sized chunks of each, broken up, in 3-4 cups of water overnight in a crockpot on low with a pinch of grated nutmeg and 1 cinnamon stick (For two drinks this calls for 3 cups, but making 4 cups allows for spills or refills). Pour about half the tea into an ice cube tray to freeze (I like to make ice cubes spheres for drinks). And chill the other half for the drinks.
Fungi are not plants or vegetables; they are in a kingdom of their own...so I am not able to add them as an ingredient among the choices for tagging.
spiced chaga and reishi brewed tea (see above on how to make ahead)
maple syrup (to taste)
Calvados, depending upon strength of spike you like
chaga and reishi ice cubes made ahead, if desired
apple wheels for garnish (Macs are always good)
In each tall glass, pour 4 oz. of spiced reishi-chaga tea.
Stir in @ 1 tbl. of maple syrup, more or less to your desired sweetness, to each.
Pour in 4 oz. of cider to each.
Stir in the desired shot quantity of Calvados (or increase the tea/cider amount by 1 oz per drink).
Garnish with apple wheels on each glass.
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