Dandelion Root & Burdock Tonic

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups fresh chopped burdock (about 1 foot of root)
  • 3/4 cup fresh chopped dandelion root or 2 Tbs dried dandelion root
  • 4 cups vodka

This is a tonic full of contradictions. The gnarled, earthy roots and the clear, strong spirit. Bitterness, and a mysterious, silky, mouthfeel. It’s an alcoholic tonic for the liver, a murky brew that cleanses and clarifies. It’s a digestif, best drunk before a meal, or after. And so on.
Burdock root has a secret sweetness about it, that slowly steeps into the alcohol, and thickens the tonic just slightly. It’s almost reminiscent of slippery elm, the way it slides over the tongue. The root is nutty, and subtly earthy, a known tonic for skin, liver, kidneys, and lungs. Dandelion root is bitter, so it stimulates the gall bladder, as well as having a host of other healthful properties. This is a perfect tonic to drink as we leave the season of holiday feasting behind, to cleanse and rejuvenate both the organs and the spirit. It’s not for mixing in fancy cocktails, at least not any that we have discovered. It is meant more to be sipped alone, in small glassfuls, savored in all of its earthy, fiery, cool, and bitter contradictions.
Fresh dandelion root can be hard to find in a grocery store, as it is not often eaten except in a dried, medicinal form. We got ours from our friend Jamie Collins, of Serendipity Farms. Of all the ills that one could attribute to social media, the platform has its benefits, too, it must be said. We just pinged her a message on social media, and asked her if she might have any dandelion roots for us. She got back to us immediately, and at the Farmer's Market a few days later there was a bulging bag of fresh, washed roots for our special use. Thanks, Jamie!

If you’re unable to arrange for your own fresh dandelion roots, the dried form can be found in many health food stores in the bulk herb section.
tonic ingredients


Prepare the roots.
Wash the dandelion and burdock roots, making sure to remove stubborn dirt from the crevices, but do not peel. If you can not get fresh dandelion root, dried root will do; it is sold in the bulk herbs section of many health food stores.
slice roots
Slice the roots into thin coins, and place them in a large glass jar.
place roots in jar
Pour vodka over the top to cover.
pour vodka over roots
Cover the jar and allow to infuse at room temperature for 2-4 weeks. Longer steeping times will give a more pronounced flavor.

Strain the roots from the tonic. Sediment may have formed on the bottom of the jar; try to leave the sediment behind, or pour it through a coffee filter or doubled butter muslin to reduce cloudiness.
strain through muslin
bottleServe in small glasses, to stimulate digestion.


Over to You

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