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Madrona Bark Broth

This is loosely based on the broth featured in Sea and Smoke: Untamed Flavors of the Pacific Northwest by Blaine Wetzel and Joe Ray. Curiously, what they serve at the Inn on Lummi Island is typically birch broth; the day this recipe was being worked on, a kitchen assistant grabbed the wrong kind of bark. No matter, it was still quite the experience and made me rethink broths and teas. Makes about 1 quart. Photo by Kathleen Flinn.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Steeping time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer


Simple syrup

  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 handfuls bark and short branches


  • Make the simple syrup by dissolving the sugar into the water. Meanwhile, clean the bark and branches to remove any clinging dirt. Add the branches to four cups of cold water and bring to a light boil, then simmer for at least 30 minutes. Strain well through a mesh sieve. Add one tablespoon of the simple syrup. Serve warm, sipping as one would a tea.