Sticky Peanuts with Ginger Bite, Sriracha, and Thai Basil

You know those bar nuts they put out when you order a beer or another pop? Forget them. They are about to become the swishy suburbanites you’ll visit occasionally, once you get acquainted with these street-wise peanuts spiked with Spiker’s Ginger Bite Shrub, Sriracha, and Thai basil.

Peanuts in their plain form are dull. But give them a chance: they soak up spices and marinades like a mop. Stew them for a few minutes with spices, aromatics, and something sweet, then spread on a Silpat or parchment paper and let them cool. The result is something sticky and crunchy and tangy and so good you will want to grind them up in your next PB&J. Even better, scatter them on your next Thai spring roll, or bibimbap, or any stir fry. And don’t forget to plop them on vanilla or green tea ice cream before you go to bed. The angels will turn down the sheets for you.

 

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Quick way to remove ribs from kale, collards, and other greens

The only things which used to discourage me from consuming a healthy quantity of greens was (a) lack of a good recipe, and (b) the tedious preparation involved in stripping out the thick ribs from the centers of the leaves. But one day while fumbling in the knife drawer for a cutting tool, my friendly pizza cutter shined up from the throng of blades and said, “Try me!”

And the rest is history. The pizza cutter was so efficient at stripping out the ribs that the prep was done in no time. All you have to do is fold a leaf vertically, trim off the base of the them, and then use the pizza cutter to closely shave away the rib. Voila! What remains is a beautiful leaf ready to be chopped, or steamed whole for use in stuffed and rolled recipes. And when cooked or served with a finishing splash of Spiker’s Shrubs (especially Roasted Cinnamon Apple, Ginger Bite, or Sour Cherry Plum), the bitterness of the greens is balanced with a wonderful undertone of sweet-tart flavor.

If your harvest is so abundant that you need to freeze the kale, chard, etc., save the ribs to use in veggie stock.

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Spiker’s homemade maraschino cherries

Once you experience the taste and texture of true maraschino cherries — tart red cherries simmered and aged in a slightly sweet cherry liqueur — you’ll never go back to those day-glow jarred red marbles sold in supermarkets and liquor stores.

Trouble is, it’s hard to find the top-shelf Luxardo-brand cherries. And if you want to make your own, you might even have a tough time locating Luxardo or Marasca liqueur. A better bet is to look for Kirschwasser — roughly half the price of the other liqueurs — and give it some added sweetness and depth by using Spiker’s Sour Cherry Plum shrub. (Sour Cherry Plum shrub is made from Michigan sour cherries, dried plums, and aged for a month to develop a rich, deep flavor.)

Prep time is less than 10 minutes. But let the cherries sit at least a week to develop the flavor. Due to the alcohol content, you should be able to store the cherries in a cool, dark space (or a fridge) for months.

 

Manhattan Ice Cream Soda with Sour Cherry Plum shrub

Looking for a fun and festive way to enjoy the flavors of the classic Manhattan cocktail? This grown-up ice cream soda is just the ticket. Less sweet than its Old Fashioned friend, the Manhattan enjoys a bit of herbaceous complexity thanks to the use of sweet vermouth (which isn’t as sugar as its name belies).

We have seen several Manhattan ice cream soda recipes online, but they include a dollop of spiked, sweetened whipped cream which is totally unnecessary. Just use a premium ice cream and premium ingredients — including the essential Spiker’s Sour Cherry Plum Shrub — and a foamy head will build at the top of the glass, letting the spirit of the spirit shine through. Cheers!

 

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Grab our gift-boxed sampler sets at Cornerstalk Farm in Boston

On their way to Cornerstalk Farm at the Boston Public Market … More of our four-pack mini samplers, along with a new 12-ounce supply of best-selling Ginger Bite, Chile Lime, French Lavender, Raspberry Bergamot, Sour Cherry Plum, and Black Currant shrubs. Great pantry and bar staples for summer entertaining! The samplers make great gifts to college-bound kids, newlyweds, and friends hosting this season’s reunion, block parties, backyard suppers, etc.

Georgian Adjika with Sour Cherry Plum Shrub

If you like the kick of a good salsa but your tastebuds are looking for a more complex flavor profile, we have a suggestion: consider Adjika, the classic condiment from Georgia-Azerbaijan. Also known as Adzhika and Ajika, Russians often refer to this as “Red Salt” and others sometimes call it “Russian Pesto.” But this savory, spicy dish isn’t anywhere close to the texture, fragrance, or mild-mannered flavor profile of pesto. Most of the recipes include hot and sweet red peppers along with a host of savory herbs including fenugreek, mint, savory, and cilantro along with coriander seed. Although we have seen a number of variations which toss shredded apples, carrots, and even tomatoes into the mix, in its purist form, it’s all about the peppers. Woohoo! Continue reading Georgian Adjika with Sour Cherry Plum Shrub

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Mini samplers on their way to Sugar Tit Moonshine in South Carolina

 

Greetings to moonshine lovers in the Spartanburg / Reidsville / Greer area of South Carolina! We just shipped a jumbo box of Spiker’s mini shrub sampler bottles to Sugar Tit Moonshine Distillery for your sipping pleasure. Sugar Tit Moonshine is super smooth because it’s distilled 6 times. Something this fine shouldn’t be covered up with artificial flavoring agents. Spiker’s shrubs let the spirit of the spirit shine through, so you can enjoy the artfully crafted product put forth by owners Bob and Kat Jordan with just a pop of our natural, preservative-free flavors: Black Currant, Chile Lime, Damask Rose, French Lavender, Ginger Bite, and Raspberry Bergamot. Cheers! (While you’re at it, put a splash of shrub in your rib mop sauce and you’ll be happy you did!) Check them out! http://www.sugartitmoonshine.com/home.html

Fresh Tomato Lime Vinaigrette

When you’re starting to get bored with basic vinaigrettes, this garden-fresh variation will wake you up and give your salads and veggies something to sing about. The secret ingredient is Spiker’s Chile Lime Shrub. The beautiful balance of fresh lime juice and zest, plus a blend of preservative-free chiles, imbues the dressing with warmth without searing heat.

1/4 tsp. salt
tsp. pepper
small tomato
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard with seeds
small garlic clove

Asian-inspired Shrub Dipping Sauce No. 1

Although the use of vinegar in cooking is extensive throughout most Asian cultures, westerners tend to think of it only as something for pickles or salad dressing. In this recipe, we’re going to show how Spiker’s Shrubs can be used as a key ingredient in three different types of Asian-inspired dipping sauces, and perhaps you’ll be inspired to attempt some variations of your own.

For this recipe, we’ve created a twist on the classic Ponzu sauce. Ponzu is distinguished by its bright citrus notes, balanced by the salty umame earthiness of the soy. In place of the traditional orange juice, mirin, rice vinegar and sugar, we’re using Spiker’s Sour Cherry Plum Shrub. (You could also use any other flavor and get interesting and savory results. It’s especially great with a combination of a fruity base shrub, plus our Chile Lime Shrub for heat and a citrus punch.)

Use this dipping sauce for egg rolls, spring rolls, or dumplings. Or brush over shrimp, salmon, or chicken prior to broiling or pan-searing to create a gorgeous and fragrant glaze.

PS – For another interesting recipe which works with all sorts of Fusion cuisine, try our Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (a.k.a. Nuoc Cham).