A lesser known syrup but gaining in popularity is Hickory Syrup.
So what is Hickory Syrup ? Hickory Syrup is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike Maple Syrup.
Step 1: Collect Some Shagbark Hickory Shagbark
The first step in making a syrup that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike Maple Syrup. Would be to first find a Shagbark Hickory tree. Unlike maple syrup you won't be tapping the tree in the cold winter months. This can be done anytime of the year. You can also use the nuts for a total different taste. The amount you collect is not important as you can adjust the amount of water. A good arm full will be enough, just brake off the loose bark or collect the freshly fallen pieces. Don't strip the tree to the live layer under the bark.
Step 2: Scrub a Dub Dub All the Hickory in the Tub
Use a good scrub brush to remove any lichen, dirt, bugs and stuff
Step 3: I Would Like to Make a Toast
If you put Hickory Syrup on French Toast then you have made two toasts.
Place the bark in a 350 F degree oven for about 15-20 min you don need to dry the bark first it will dry in the oven.
You will start to smell a very spicy smell that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike Maple Syrup. Kind of like allspice.
Step 4: Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble Cauldron Bubble; Fire Burn, and Cauldron Bubble.
Brake up the bark into small pieces and load up a six quart sauce pan or stock pot. Bring to boil and the reduce to simmer. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes. The key is simmer if you boil to hard all the good flavors will go with the steam.
Step 5: Its Bark Is Worse Then It Bite.
Remove the bark. You can throw them on the coals at the next barb-b-q. You can also filter the sediment out with a coffee or tea strainer. Simmer and reduce the tea to 75% of original volume.
Step 6: Simple Simon Met a A Pieman Going to the Fair
For a more complex flavor I made this with local honey. Your going to make a simple syrup 2:1 Two parts sweetener and one part shagbark Tea (reduction).
For the first batch I used 1 lb honey, 1 lb honey jar filled with sugar, 1 lb honey jar of Shagbark tea. Simmer until desired thickness is achieved about 10-15 min.
The second batch was a little more traditional (I had extra tea and was short on honey). One quart tea, Two quarts Shagbark tea. Simmer until desired thickness is achieved about 10-15 min.
Step 7: Bottle Old Hickory
Yield for the Honey Shagbark Hickory syrup was about two one pound honey jars.
Yield for the Shagbark Hickory sugar syrup was two quarts.
The bottle on the the left is from a soda stream machine for Honey Shagbark Hickory Soda
Important note both syrups are very different in taste and complexities.