Greetings! I’m Emily Han (formerly Emily Ho), a recipe developer, educator, herbalist, and writer empowering people to cultivate a mindful relationship with nature and nourishment. I am especially passionate about wildcrafting, food preservation, and all things quaffable, from foraged cocktails to seasonal sodas and herbal bitters.
Beverage recipes form the foundation of this site, but you’ll also find historical and contemporary perspectives on topics like nature awareness, botany, medicine, foraging, herbs, and spices. In other words, if we were in a room together, I’d grab some seasonal fruit from the kitchen, a splash of homemade liqueur, and a pinch of locally gathered herbs, and mix you a cocktail that would lift your day and your senses. Maybe even settle that stomachache or heartache that you’ve been feeling lately. And then I’d teach you how to make these things yourself, because I believe the best nourishment comes from our own communities, our own landscapes, and our own hands.
Cocktails, teas, sodas, fermentations, elixirs, tonics, and other libations and remedies fascinate me — not in a snake-oil, cure-all way, but in a way that honors culture and tradition along with curiosity, research, personal experience, and creativity. This is the intersection of many of my passions and experiences, from my vocation as an educator and recipe developer (you might have seen my writing at The Kitchn and KCET) to my work as Communications Director for LearningHerbs.com, community builder with LA Food Swap and Food Swap Network, and former spice merchant and art librarian. Not to mention my ongoing explorations in herbalism, wildcrafting, and gardening. Oh, and a
slightly unhealthy perfectly reasonable obsession with bottles, jars, and funnels.
I am deeply grateful for my teachers who, along with elders, plants, animals, and rocks, have included mindfulness teacher Thich Nhat Hanh (I grew up in his community), cocktail chef Matthew Biancaniello, and herbalist Rebecca Altman. I also studied art history at Hampshire College, library science at San José State University, and the master food preserver program at University of California Cooperative Extension.
A native Texan, I now call Los Angeles home. I live in the Mount Washington neighborhood with my husband and hiking partner Gregory, our cats Eames and Eero, and panopoly of wild coyotes, skunks, raccoons, insects, and birds.
photos by Oriana Koren