Floral cocktails are trending, and it’s no surprise. The delicate notes of rose, lavender, honeysuckle, and other “secret garden” florals help us transition from winter, and add a romantic aromatic flavor flourish to familiar drinks. Continue reading Floral shrubs make beautiful drinks
Try different shrub flavors to impart a different flavor profile to your salmon. Our friends and family are partial to Ginger Bite, Pineapple Basil, and Apple Crisp.
‘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
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
Our own Brussels sprouts won’t be ready to pick for at least another month, so while we’re waiting we decided to indulge in a special treat that’s showing up in produce departments at supermarkets and local farm stores. Shaved Brussels sprouts are tidy packages of thinly sliced buds which save you plenty of prep time. They cook quickly in a cast-iron skillet. Pan-searing gives them a slightly roasted sweetness plus the speed of a stir-fry. Continue reading Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and 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.
More versatile and varied than a balsamic reduction, our fruity shrub drizzle is ideal for cheese plates, salads, and beautiful platings. Any flavor of shrub can be used. Although bitters are optional, they expand the range of your drizzle to something decadent.
We love the look of the cheese with an artful drizzle of shrub over the top. But to expand the plating options, you can serve the drizzle in a little saucer so guests can dip cheese, fruit, bits of sausage or other nummies in the shrub reduction if they choose. Continue reading Spiker’s Shrub drizzle for cheese and more
August is steaming up, and my plan for keeping cool is to put a bunch of glasses in the freezer to get frosty, and then whip up a pitcher of white tea infused with rosemary, brightened with a splash of Spiker’s Roasted Cinnamon Apple shrub, chilled cucumber juice, sliced peaches, and a bit of mineral water.
You don’t need a juicer to prepare the cucumber; a blender or food processor works just as well. (For those of you who want to spike this beverage with a spirit, try a bit of gin.)
Boston 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.)
The bad news: the squirrels ate all the peaches from our backyard tree.
The good news: Glenn Cook from Cider Hill Farm explained how to know when peaches are ripe. (Wish I had known this sooner, because I might have been able have gotten to my peaches before the varmints did.)
Peaches are harvested by ground color and swell. Ground color is the color under the red blush, which goes from green to light green to yellow when the fruit is mature. The swell is the filling out of the cheeks in the last day or two before it is ready to pick. Peaches put on a lot of size in the last few days before harvest. Peaches picked for long haul shipping and storage are generally picked a few days before we would pick them to make them more firm and durable, but they often will not develop the full flavor and juiciness. If picked correctly, they will be firm with just a little give with pressure is put on them, but will ripen to a juicy softness in just a day or two. In our area, mid season peaches tend to have the best flavor, which we harvest from early August to the end of that month. Peaches can be kept in the refrigerator for about two weeks.
And here’s another tip, straight from the Spiker’s kitchen: Fruit flies just love peaches. We usually have three or four different fruits in our home test kitchen at any given time, but when peaches are on the counter they are also on the fruit-fly menu. So as soon as we bring peaches home (from Cider Hill or any other local orchard), we bag ’em in gallon-size zip bags. And as soon as they are just-right ripe, they go into the fridge.
PS – People get all weirded out by fruit flies. Maybe if they were called “fruit gnats” they wouldn’t seem so icky.