The best spring tonic is in your backyard! Find a maple tree and purchase a spile or spout, a sap bucket or bag (or be creative connect a plastic unused paint bucket and aluminum foil) and tap the tree for this mineral-rich, healthy drink.
The common way to tap a tree is to drill a hole in the lower trunk, angled slightly upwards. From the Cornell cooperative extension pdf online (see link for further details): “Tapholes should be drilled when temperatures are above freezing to reduce the risk of damage to the tree. Use a 7/16 inch diameter drill (available from hardware stores or maple equipment dealers) in a hand brace or breast drill. Drill into the trunk of the tree in an area that contains sound wood (free of scars, wounds, or older tapholes). …. Drill 2 to 2 1/2 inches into the tree at a slight upward angle to facilitate ﬂow of sap.”
Tapping doesn’t t harm the tree – but remove the spile or spout when ﬁnished. Read the Cornell PDF for more info.
Use the sap to drink as is, heat for tea, use in making oatmeal. Even though it looks like plain water, you will taste a subtle maple ﬂavor. This is not maple syrup, which requires a 40 to 1 ratio – meaning it takes 40 quarts of sap to boil down to 1 quart of maple syrup. That is a lengthy and detailed production, best done outdoors.