Spruce Tip Syrup

A colleague at the store showed me this yesterday.  “Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook” is a unique and fascinating approach to food that I have really enjoyed reading through.  It almost makes me wish I still lived in the country and were able to freely forage.

This recipe is for Spruce or Fir Tip Syrup.  Hank Shaw, the author of the blog and cookbooks centered around foraging, gives the following tips: I.  In Springtime, collect the light-colored ends of trees.  II.  Use new growth shoots, as these have the best flavors.  III.  Scatter your collection on each tree and avoid the top to prevent stunting tree growth.  I want to explore this with bitters, kombucha, and even simply gin.

Spruce or Fir Tip Syrup

Makes 1 pint.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes, plus several hours of passive steeping time

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups fir or spruce tips, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
  1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a lidded pot, stirring to make sure all the sugar is absorbed.
  2. When it hits a boil, turn off the heat. Stir in the spruce tips, cover the pot and leave to cool. The longer you steep the syrup, the stronger spruce flavor you’ll get. I let it steep overnight.
  3. Strain the syrup through cheesecloth, add lemon juice (if using) to taste and bottle.

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