Shagbark Hickory Syrup

Our shagbark hickory syrup is available from our booth at the Downtown Rogers Farmer’s market. Sign up below if you want to be notified when it’s ready to ship. We’re pursuing certification and getting legal issues in place now:

Recipes and Feedback

Once you taste the flavor of this incredibly unique syrup, the wheels in your head will start turning. There are so many ways this syrup could be used!

Go to our recipe page to find out how others are using and get our “favorite way to use it” idea.

A package of the bark and some of the syrup from the bark of the shagbark hickory tree.
Taking pre-orders now. Click to pic to order. Or sign up for the announcement list to keep up with our progress of production. We’ll let you know when it’s ready to buy and ship! Sign up below. Click here for recipes and ideas or to share yours!

The Story of Our Shagbark Hickory Syrup

Ever heard of shagbark hickory syrup? I know you’ve heard of maple syrup, made from the sap of a maple tree.

Shagbark hickory also goes by the name of Scalybark Hickory, but they’re both the same tree. The latin binomial name is Carya ovata.

Well the shagbark syrup is different than maple syrup. Although the tree can be tapped, for this one, it’s the bark that is used.

My husband comes up with some tasty ideas for things to make here on the Wild Ozark homestead. Last time it was home roasted coffee. That was so successful it’s now one of our homestead standards.

This time his idea was shagbark hickory syrup.

hickory nuts
Freshly gathered hickory nuts. Hard to beat the squirrels to the good ones!

Skeptical? I was too. This is how the bark of a shagbark hickory looks.

shagbark from shagbark hickory tree

Time Tested

Apparently, this kind of syrup is an old-timey thing. There are lots of variations on the recipe online. Rob was looking up recipes for hickory pie (like pecan pie but using hickories instead) and he stumbled on a post about the syrup and his creative wheels started turning.

We gathered nuts the in fall with plans to make things from them when the weather turned.

We gathered bark, too, because the idea of making syrup from it sure did intrigue.

On a Friday eve that fall, Rob made the syrup. And, like the coffee, it was so delicious it’s going to become another must-have in our cupboard!

A basic recipe for Shagbark Hickory Syrup

Rob modified the original recipe some to make it taste more like we like and you can do the same to suit your own tastes. Here’s a rough outline of how it’s done:

  1. Gather bark from the tree
  2. Clean bark by washing and scrubbing
  3. Break bark into smaller pieces
  4. Roast bark in the oven
  5. Add bark to a pot and cover by several inches with water
  6. Decoct the bark by cooking on very low heat (no boiling, no bubbles breaking)
  7. Remove bark from water, strain liquid, return to pot
  8. Decoct to concentrate to nice dark color
  9. Add a little cream of tartar to keep it from crystallizing
  10. For each cup of liquid add 2 cups sugar
  11. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved
  12. Pour into jars
  13. Enjoy!

Scaling Up

We’re now cooking large batches at the Food Innovation Kitchen in Fayetteville Arkansas. Soon we’ll be able to sell wholesale and retail nationwide!

If you know of any good chefs who  might like to try our product in their kitchens, let me know. Or let them know! I’ll send samples to anyone interested in wholesale purchase.

We’ll sell them retail at $10/bottle, wholesale at a discount according to volume ordered.

Want to Stay Informed?

Taking pre-orders now!


Shagbark hickory syrup and bark

Shagbark hickory syrup and some of the bark.hickory nut

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.

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4 Replies to “Shagbark Hickory Syrup”

  1. Gathering the bark isn’t hard at all, Janet. It flakes right off. This was the second batch Rob made and after the first one he figured out that a stronger bark tea/decoction would make a bolder flavored syrup. It is amazing (and so is he, lol). I hope y’all had a wonderful holiday as well 🙂

  2. Hello!
    Thank you for the recipe for Shagbark Hickory Syrup. I am making some as I write. I am at the stage where I am reducing the tea to concentrate it. At this point I would like to quit for the day and continue tomorrow (adding sugar, etc.) I imagine that this won’t harm anything (?). My next question is about storing the syrup. If this batch is successful, I would like to make more for Christmas gifts. Have you tried canning the syrup using a hot water bath? Or is this not necessary? If it is not canned, should it be refrigerated?
    Any help that you can give me is appreciated.

    1. Hi Louise, you’re welcome 🙂 If you’ve already finished making the tea, I would keep it in the refrigerator overnight and it should do fine to start again the next day. We didn’t process ours in the canner. Now we’re making our syrup at a commercial kitchen, and we still don’t process it after bottling. What we do is fill the bottles with the syrup while it’s still over 190*F, then turn the bottles on the side for at least 2 minutes. This kills any yeast or mold or bacteria that might be on the lid and in the airspace. We’ve had ours out on the counter for several months now and still no spoilage, but I’d recommend refrigerating after opening just to be on the safe side. Good luck and let me know how it turned out!

Info or feedback to share?