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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.

Spiker's homemade maraschino cherries

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Total Time19 mins


  • 4 tablespoons Spiker's Sour Cherry Plum Shrub or more to taste
  • 1 cup Kirschwasser We used Hiram Walker
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 pint fresh or frozen tart red cherries 2 cups measure


  • In a small saucepan, put the sugar, Sour Cherry Plum shrub, and Kirschwasser. Stir until the sugar begins to dissolve. Then turn on the heat to low, stirring constantly until the liquid comes to a gentle simmer. You don't want it to boil.
  • Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and place on a trivet or pot holder. Add the cherries gently to avoid splashing. Stir gently to bathe all of the cherries in the liquid, and allow them to cool. (Check them every now and then and give an occasional stir to expedite the dissolving of the sugar.)
  • Wash a quart-size Mason jar and pour all of the liquid and the cherries in. The contents will come up to approximately the 3-cup mark on the jar. Seal with a lid and ring and store in a cool (50 degree) space such as a root cellar, or in your refrigerator.
  • If you're storing at room temperature, give the jar a jiggle every couple of days. The cherries will float to the top, and although the alcohol content should be an adequate preservative it is best to agitate the contents to ensure that the organic matter in the jar doesn't settle in to a position where it's exposed to too much oxygen.


Note: Tart red cherries are extremely hard to find fresh OR frozen. In a pinch, you can use canned red cherries packed in liquid or juice; just be sure they are tart cherries. Put them in a colander and drain thoroughly before with proceeding with the recipe.
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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.

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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!

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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

Sweet and Sour Tomato Vinaigrette

Prep Time2 mins
Total Time2 mins
Servings: 8


  • 8 ounces very ripe tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp Spiker's Chile Lime shrub
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Cut the tomatoes in half and place in a sieve with a bowl beneath. Squeeze each tomato half with your hands to express as much juice and pulp as possible. There should be about 1/2 cup.
  • Put the tomato juice and pulp into a food processor or blender, and add the salt, garlic clove, mustard, and Chile Lime shrub. Pulse several times to make sure the garlic is well chopped.
  • With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Pour the dressing into a jar or other container with a lid. Let the dressing sit, unrefrigerated, for about 30 minutes prior to serving to ensure the flavors are well developed.
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Make a Merry Margarita

‘Tis the season to start thinking about holiday entertaining. Our new recipe for a Merry Margarita features fabulous seasonal flavors – tangerine, ginger, pomegranate – in a gorgeous and festive cocktail. We’re handing out the recipe this Sunday, November 22, at the North Shore Emporium. Tickets are free to this celebration of the best locally crafted food, but if you reserve online you will not have to wait at the gate. Continue reading Make a Merry Margarita

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Sensational stuff made locally – a holiday emporium

Take a bite out of your holiday shopping angst by swinging by the gorgeous Willowdale estate in Topsfield on November 22. This is not a holiday craft fair. Think of it more as a vibrant marketplace nestled in the rooms of an historic New England mansion. And Spiker’s Shrubs will be there with bells on. Sample our new shrubs … stock up on stocking stuffers including our newest mini shrub sampler … and meet other artisan food producers who share our passion for fresh, locally made products. Continue reading Sensational stuff made locally – a holiday emporium

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Introducing our new Ginger Bite shrub

A funny thing happened on the way to the shrub shack: While working on a recipe for a new Pear Ginger Shrub, we forgot to add the pears. The result was a potent brew with such an exhilarating ginger punch that we decided this shrub deserved to stand on its own.

And so we are pleased to introduce Ginger Bite Shrub. The spicy flavor is something you can sink your teeth into, whether you’re adding it to an IPA beer, a glass of seltzer, a shot of bourbon, a Dark and Stormy, or a stir-fry. Oh, and one other thing: it goes great with pears.

Look for it on the shelves of our retailers, or shop online.

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Mixify your cocktails with recipes from Corey Bunnewith

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 8.16.38 AMBoston Harbor Distillery and Spiker’s are a great combination. BHD’s Corey Bunnewith has crafted three tantalizing recipes to showcase the best of their spirits and our shrubs: Pineapple Basil and Green Tea Sour, Raspberry Bergamot Sparkler, and Grapefruit Palmer.

We’ll shoot you the recipes if you provide us with some contact info. (Don’t worry. We won’t use it for marketing harassment. Just need to know where the info should go.)


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