Add Some Tree to Your Meal with Spruce or Fir Tip Syrup
By angelamontana


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(photo by Hank Shaw)

How much more outdoorsy can your food get?  Unlike maple syrup, this spruce or fir tip syrup apparently has a citrus taste, even moreso when you add lemon juice, and smells like a pine forest.  Intrigued?  Well, to make it even more appealing, it apparently makes a “fascinating” mixer when added to gin.  This particular syrup is said to go best with pheasant, grouse or chicken, according to honest-food.net.

So, how would you even start to prepare this?  Well, the author tells you everything you need to know about foraging for the ingredients for this woodsy addition to your drink or meal:

To gather spruce or fir tree tips, look in springtime for the light-colored ends of the trees: These are the new growth shoots from the tree. Older shoots get too resinous to be very tasty. Work your way around the tree and pick from scattered places so you don’t damage the tree — and never pick the top of a young tree, or you can possibly stunt its future growth.

This syrup should be kept in the fridge, where it should last about 4 months.

Spruce or Fir Tip Syrup Recipe

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)

Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a lidded pot, stirring to make sure all the sugar is absorbed.

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.

Strain the syrup through cheesecloth, add lemon juice (if using) to taste and bottle.