I’m going to be drinking this Mee-Ni-Sha-Piy (Berry Drink) all summer. And, I’m very grateful to chef Scott Jonathan Iserhoff for sharing both this recipe and his knowledge of Indigenous foods.
The photo above shows Scott’s Mee-Ni-Sha-Piy mixture of saskatoon berries. These berries are Indigenous to Alberta and very plentiful here in July and August. I used a mixture of half blackberries and haskap berries.
Whatever berry you choose, you simply add equal parts fruit and sugar. Then you mash and stir them and leave them covered on the counter for a few days at room temperature. After 48 hours, you add an equal part of apple cider vinegar and the Mee-Ni-Sha-Piy is ready for use.
When you want to enjoy it, you spoon a bit into a glass and add bubbly or still water. I like ice so I added some to mine. It’s very berry forward but not too sweet. The clean crisp bite from the vinegar keeps it balanced and refreshing.
I hope you’ll give it a try and check out Pei Pei Chei Ow, Scott’s catering company and online cooking school website for news of when his new kiosk at the Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market will open. Meegwetch to Scott for sharing.
These are not easy times for Indigenous people. They’ve not been easy for a very long time. And that makes me appreciate Scott’s sharing all the more. As my friend Yvonne Jobin, a great Cree Elder says, “knowledge is useless unless it is shared.” Sharing knowledge between cultures is not only powerful, I believe it’s the key to unlock understanding and appreciation.
Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. Full Disclosure: My company Alberta Food Tours partners with Scott and his company Pei Pei Chei Ow.Print
Mee-ni-sha-piy (Berry Drink)
Mee – N i – Sha means “berries” in the Indigenous Omushkegowin language. Mee – N i – Sha play a very important role in Indigenous culture, food and health. For this recipe, you can use any fresh berries that are available to you. Berries that are bruised or overripe are the best to use.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes plus 48 hours resting time
- Total Time: 12 minute
- Yield: 12 or so servings
- Category: Drinks
- Method: fermenting
- Cuisine: Indigenous Canadian
1 cup berries
1 cup sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
- Combine 1 cup of berries with 1 cup of sugar in a bowl and mash or blend the mixture.
- Put the mixture into an airtight container and leave out at room temperature for 48 hours. Shake the mixture occasionally.
- Add 1 cup o f apple cider vinegar (48 hours from when you started) and transfer it into a new airtight container (a mason jar works best). Tip: chef Scott says, “We do not strain, as we like to utilize the whole berry, while seeds and skins add a lot of benefit.”
- Keep refrigerated, it’s now ready!
- Add the desired amount into soda water or tea.
- Sip on this refreshing and delicious drink, while enjoying Creator’s gift of berries.
Keywords: Mee-Ni-Sha-Piy (Berry Drink)