Infused syrups are a tradition in the South. The flow of maple sap is often interrupted by warm, erratic weather, making it hard to come by unless drawn from high mountain groves. Sorghum syrup has long been a staple, but it's heavy texture are molasses-like flavor can be off-putting to those unaccustomed.
Enter hickory syrup: a concentrated tea of hickory bark, sweetened with cane sugar. Hickory syrup has been the Southern alternative to maple syrup for hundreds of years. Made from the bark of the shagbark hickory, it has a smoky, nutty flavor that is absolutely delicious in coffee or cocktails, drizzled over pancakes, or mixed into ice cream.
Falling Bark Farm
Falling Bark Farm is the retirement project of Travis and Joyce Miller. Located in Clarke County, VA, they started their venture by selling their handmade, wildcrafted syrups at local farmer's markets. They primarily use bark from the shagbark hickory tree, which sheds naturally, so the tree is not harmed in any way. They blend their wild harvested hickory bark with re-purposed bark from dead hickory trees and bark that has been collected from hickory processing companies. Theirs is a sustainable and hyperlocal example of a Southern tradition in the modern age.