It can be pale or dark.
The sugarcane is allowed to grow as long as possible before any frost occurs. The harvested canes can be held for up to 1 month before squeezing them, providing they’re not allowed to freeze.
The juice is squeezed out of the canes (the pulp can be fed to livestock.) 100 pounds (45 kg) of harvested cane will produce 50 to 60 pounds (22 to 27 kg) of juice, which is 10% sugar. 7 to 10 US gallons (26 to 38 litres) of juice are needed to make 1 US gallon (3 3/4 litres) of Cane Syrup.
The juice is boiled down for about 1 hour. During boiling, the surface is skimmed. It is bottled while hot in sterilized jars.
Different cultivars of sugarcane will produce syrups with different characteristics.
Some manufacturers may add corn syrup, to make a cane syrup less prone to crystallizing in storage.
Cane Syrup was made throughout the southern American states. It is also popular in Spain and in the Caribbean.
Cane Syrup is not the same as molasses, which is a by-product of making sugar from the juice, and it is not the same as Golden Syrup.
Golden syrup, corn syrup, or a syrup made from 1 1/4 cups (10 oz / 275g) of white sugar simmered in 1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz / 75ml) water.
Once opened, store in refrigerator to discourage fermentation or mould growth. Discard if any mould becomes apparent. May crystallize in storage; zap briefly in microwave to reliquidify it.
Cowser, R.L.. Cooking Ribbon Cane Syrup. In The Kentucky Folklore Record, January to March 1978.