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The Magic of Mimosa: Cordial and Tincture Recipes

Amber Shehan June 28, 2016

Ah, it is late June, and the Mimosa trees are blooming! These pink, fluffy trees are cartoonish but beautiful, looking like “truffula tuft” trees from Dr. Seuss books!

2016-06-26 mimosa1

My love and I went a-foraging in the wild forest of invasive plants that covers the empty lot next door. This lot would be almost impassable if it weren’t for the trails my dog has left in the romps that leave her covered with thorns and spiderwebs. The patch of growth is lush and chocked with wild blackberry brambles, honeysuckle vines, and sharp stands of ornamental grass gone wild. Right in the heart of the chaos are two Mimosa trees.

2016-06-26 blackberrybramble 1200
Blackberry brambles and honeysuckle towers

Like a good forager, I brought a basket, scissors, my fruit-picking pole, and dressed properly to deal with ticks and brambles. Once we made our way to the Mimosa trees, we realized that the flowers were too high up to reach from the ground, even with the picking pole. That wasn’t a problem. Eric’s more than happy to have a reason to climb a tree!

Once he’d picked enough mimosa flowers for a small jar of tincture or two, I stole the basket from him and picked a mess o’blackberries. The dappled sunlight flickered around the overgrown lot as we merrily tromped around with sticky fingers made purple from the sweet, dark fruits.

Victorious, we reclined on the porch and drank some mead until the mosquitoes launched their attack at dusk.

Mimosa tincture and mimosa cordial on pixiespocket.com
Sweet sips and sweet medicine made from mimosa flowers

Once indoors for the night, we clipped the foraged flowers from their stems and set to work making Mimosa Tincture and Mimosa & Blackberry Cordial.

Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) is known in Chinese medicine for being a lifter of the mood and an ally to relieve stress and anxiety. The bright, happy flowers attest to their power, looking like happy little pink pom-poms, ready to celebrate!  Picking them from the trees made me feel as if we’d sneaked into the work of Dr. Seuss.


Tinctures are fairly easy to make, even if you are beginner. For a quick reference, here’s my post on Tinctures, Cordials, and Elixirs.  A basic tincture is plant matter + booze + time.

If you want to get fancy with it, you can make your tincture into a cordial.

Mimosa & Blackberry Cordial Recipe

  • Fill a jar with Mimosa flowers after trimming off the long green stems.
  • Add a handful of fresh blackberries. You can squash or puree them if you’d like, you’ll get more juice that way!
  • Fill the jar to the top with vodka.
  • Label and date the jar and set it aside for at least a week. I usually end up leaving them for more than a month.
  • Strain the vodka into a new, clean jar. Marvel over the lovely blush of the booze!
  • Give it a taste, but bear in mind that it won’t be sweet. If you want to turn this tincture into a sugary cordial, make a simple syrup from honey or sugar and add it to your booze. It’s your creation, so make it just as sweet as you like it!

Enjoy the fruits of your labor. It only takes a little sip of cordial to enjoy the mood-lifting, grief-relieving effects of Mimosa. A tiny bit goes a long way. Save your sips for when you really need a hug for your heart.

Resources:

https://www.planetherbs.com/specific-herbs/albizia-the-tree-of-happiness.html

http://greenmanramblings.blogspot.com/2013/04/quick-notes-on-herbs-for-grief-and-fear.html

Matthew Wood, The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism.

Amber Shehan

Hi! I'm Amber Pixie, and this is my site. Enjoy the recipes, information, posts, and please feel free to message me if you have questions!

14 Comments

  1. Deni on July 5, 2016 at 11:20 am

    What zone do you live in? I’m in IL and wonder if the trees would grow here.

  2. Gayle on June 28, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Don’t plant it, it’s terrible invasive

    • Krystle on July 17, 2019 at 5:57 pm

      I have 2, they have never ever gone sprouted any new guys. I would love these to take over my property!!!! What a beautiful treat

  3. Kelley on January 8, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    I think the invasive part really depends where you are.(like most plants). North Carolina lists it as terribly invasive, but I have watched this plant in our 300 acre mountain cove for more than 30 years and it isn’t invasive at all here. It’s a very delicate, short-lived tree, usually only living a few years before it succumbs to a storm or other things. The butterflies adore it…I do too. It does self-seed a bit, but the populations here have greatly decreased over the years, not increased. If you find that is invasive where you are, it’s easy enough to pull out the extra seedlings in the spring. I have found the same thing with many other invasive where, including autumn olive, barberry, butterfly weed and others. Just keep an eye on anything you plant and be responsible about tending it. Many Invasives make such great medicine.

    • Amber Pixie on January 17, 2019 at 7:58 pm

      We are in agreement, Kelley! I am welcoming Mimosa onto my new property this spring. The medicine and love and bright energy that this tree gives are worth any extra maintenance it takes to ensure it remains in balance with where it grows.

      There are some grand old mimosas that I’ve seen around the Asheville area.

      • Stan on July 10, 2019 at 9:46 am

        And when they get out of control, get goats , they love them.

  4. Tabitha Harris on June 20, 2019 at 9:52 am

    I also live in Illinois (Southwestern area near Carbondale) in zone 6b. They grow very well in this part of the state. I’ve never used them for foraging purposes. Noticed last week they’re in bloom, so I’m definitely going to this year.

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  6. Sylvia on July 8, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    Appreciate the enlightenment. I’ve lived in Texas for over 40 years and heard only about “trash trees”. They are beautiful and have a purpose, thank you for sharing.

  7. Scarlett on July 9, 2019 at 8:23 am

    The seed pods are poisonous, be careful about warning children to not put them in their mouth. If you have pets or livestock, keep the seed pods away from them. Do not plant where livestock have access to them.

  8. Wendy Conover on July 10, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    I love the notion of cordial, I have never done so before. if I add simple syrup to it that is the shelf life before it ferments?

    • Amber Pixie on July 31, 2019 at 6:28 pm

      Adding simple syrup to the booze should not dilute the tincture enough to let it ferment, in my experience! Cheers! 🙂

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