Because we are limited with what we can grow in our Rocky Mountain Climate, I love to wander a little further than my back yard to see what grows wild! In late May and early June spruce trees are bursting with rubbery spring green needles that are loaded with vitamin c, carotenoids, potassium, magnesium, and chlorophyll. The natives traditionally used them to treat coughs and sore throats. Spruce needles when rolled between two fingers, roll easily as they are fairly round. If you can’t roll the needle you most likely have a fir needle which is a little flatter!
A simple syrup made from the buds is lemony and almost reminiscent of elderflowers! I can hardly wait to flavour my kombucha with this syrup!
The buds can be harvested in the spring and either used immediately or frozen for use in the winter months.
I combine the syrup with carbonated water but I bet it would be amazing incorporated into a cocktail with Gin or Vodka!
- 2 cups of fresh or frozen spruce tips (see photos below)
- 2 cups of organic cane sugar
- 2 cups of water
- juice from one lemon
Combine water and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat. Add the spruce tips and fresh lemon juice. Cover and let sit for 4-6 hours. Strain and store refrigerated in a mason jar.
Combine 1 Tbsp. of the spruce tip syrup with 8 to 12 oz. of carbonated water over ice with a squeeze of lemon!