Eastern Red Bud Oxymel


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At its most basic, an oxymel is a mixture of raw honey and vinegar, often infused with herbs to provide additional health benefits. Combining these ingredients creates a syrup-like tonic that is both tasty and packed with potential health-promoting properties. 

Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is a popular choice for oxymels due to its high acetic acid content and the presence of the “mother” – strands of proteins, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria similar to those found in fermented kombucha tea. Apple cider vinegar has been associated with a range of health benefits, including supporting healthy blood sugar levels, aiding digestion, and promoting a healthy gut microbiome.

We infused a white balsamic vinegar with the flowers from the Red Bud Tree (Cercis canadensis), a native to our area in Virginia. Although not known for their medicinal properties, the red bud flowers make a delicious oxymel. It is one of my favorites for salad dressing, in cocktails, and simply to take a spoonful of the nourishment of oxymels.

Raw honey, on the other hand, has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for various ailments. It is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its ability to soothe sore throats and support the immune system. When choosing honey for your oxymel, opt for raw, unfiltered varieties to ensure you are getting the most beneficial compounds.