Birch Sap Syrup
Birch sap is a wonderful, all-natural substance produced by Birch trees in early spring. You need a few tools to get hold of it, but if you manage to tap a few litres, then making Birch Sap Syrup is a delightful way of really making the most of the rich flavours, minerals and sugars found deep within this natural plant-based elixir. You really don't get a lot of syrup for your sap, but the precious, rich dark brown end-product is absolutely delicious. To learn how to tap birch and other sap-producing trees, head over to the Tree Sap section of the website.
Prep Time: None
Cooking Time: 4-6 Hours
Quantity: Makes Approximately 100ml of syrup
- 10 Litres of fresh Birch Sap
- Safely Harvest 10 litres of Birch Sap using the FAQs in the Tree Sap Section of the website. For this amount, you'll need to collect 5 litres from two separate trees.
- Add the Birch Sap to a large capacity pan (or two large 5 Litre saucepans) and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Some people prefer to do this on an open fire outdoors. Simmer for 4-6 hours until the sap reduces down.
- The Sap will turn from clear, to dirty brown, to dark brown as it reduces. When it has reduced by about 80%, transfer the sap to a smaller pan to help prevent burning. Continue to reduce the Sap, stirring continuously, until about 100ml is left. The Sap should now be quite dark in colour and smell sweet, like candy floss. At this point, remove the sap from the heat.
- Attach a folded muslin cloth over a jug with an elastic band (or use a fine coffee filter) and strain the hot sap through this. This action filters out any debris and prevents "sugar sand" from forming in the finished syrup. Sugar sand is edible, but has an unpleasant texture in the mouth. You can repeat this 2-3 times if you want to really filter the syrup.
- Decant the filtered syrup from the jug into a sterilised bottle or jar and seal.
- The Syrup should keep in the fridge for 2-3 months, but it likely won't last that long!
Mix it up ...
There are a number of trees that can be tapped for sap and turned into syrup. Why not try Sycamore, Paper Birch or Sugar Maple Syrup? If you can't be bothered with effort of boiling it for hours, you can always use the sap to make wine, or simply chill it as a healthy, natural alternative to water!