Hickory Bark Syrup (Hickory Syrup)

Hickory bark syrup is syrup made from the bark of a shag bark hickory tree. It can be used for meat glaze, cocktails, and as a sweetener. It has a smokey and complex flavor that is nothing at all like maple syrup, and it is made through a very different process.

First, you have to collect bark from a shag bark hickory tree. Shag bark hickories are big and have one of the largest nuts of all hickory trees, which you can eat. Native Americans ate them, and some people cultivate the trees just to eat the nuts.

Collect about 5-10lbs. of bark (a 5 gallon bucket full) for a gallon of syrup. Bring it home. Scrub off all of the moss and dirt from the outside of the bark with a stiff brush. Most people say to scrub off the lichens, but most of the lichens on the bark are crustose (they live inside the bark), so they can’t technically all be scrubbed off.

IMG_20150203_173157 IMG_20150203_174007

Toast the bark on a flame or in the oven. It smells like cooking mushrooms. (Maybe because of the lichens.) Put it a pot of water and simmer it for about 30 minutes to an hour. Strain the contents through a cloth (like a tea towel).

IMG_20150203_181321 20150131_180612-1 20150131_180558

Then, measure the amount of extract. Mix one part extract to two parts sugar and put it back into the pot and bring it to a boil. Immediately, place into jars and let seal.

Jars of hickory syrup we made.

It tastes amazing! The kids really enjoyed trying it too.

IMG_20150206_124005 IMG_20150206_123959

What a fun and yummy adventure! Now, to await the snowpocalypse that’s supposed to be heading our way while we enjoy some delicious glazed meat and cocktails.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sally says:

    Hey you guys! Hickory syrup is a new one for me, but it sounds simple enough to give it a try. I hope all is well with your family.


    1. Thanks, Sally! It is definitely worth trying. Sorry my reply took a long time. We are working on getting set up and I haven’t been devoting enough time to the computer. I would love to hear how it turns out for you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s