I was planning out TV segment ideas recently, and knew that I had to share this recipe! These flavored simple syrups are so much fun, and something that I have been making all summer. You can make them year round, as you can use flavorings that are either in season, or instead substitute, nuts, spices, herbs, extracts, or dried or frozen fruit. I’ve compiled a fun list, but don’t stop there. There are so many different combos, and it’s only limited by your imagination.
All you need is a large saucepan, granulated sugar (organic or regular or even brown sugar), water, and whatever flavorings you have in mind. It’s as easy as whisking together your sugar and water and heating over low heat. Once your sugar looks dissolved, add your fruit or herbs, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Then you’ll let it simmer for 10 minutes before removing it from the heat. Once cool, you strain it and refrigerate it for several weeks, or freeze it to last longer.
The recipe is pretty loose when it comes to how mush of your flavoring to add. That’s because it really depends on what other ingredients you are adding and which flavor you want most pronounced. Since it’s a sugar syrup, you can always taste and add more as necessary. Just remember that sugar syrup is hot, and can burn you or your mouth very easily! The flavors also intensify as they are simmering (and infusing), with the flavors deepening further as they sit. If you decide that homemade simple syrups are your jam, keep a little notebook and jot down the combinations and quantities that you particularly liked.
One thing I really love about this recipe is the creativity options. You get to dream up wild and fun combinations, or keep it super simple with a single flavor or note. And best of all, even if the combo of spices and fruits you dreamed up didn’t come out as great as you thought, it’s not a big deal to start over or tinker with it at the end (that’s where extracts come in handy). The time investment is only about 15 minutes, maybe 30 if you count waiting and straining.
But, do you know where the real fun comes in? It’s what you use it in! I love to use the flavored syrup with sparkling water to make delicious sodas, or combined with sparkling water and a little booze (hello rose flavored vodka or gin!) for some outrageous cocktails. You can also use it in lemonade, pancakes, drizzled over ice cream, brushed on cakes, drizzled on fruit, and even mixed with vodka or a neutral spirit to make a cordial (just make sure to refrigerate it). The possibilities are endless!!
I’d love to hear if you cook up a batch. You can let me know here, or tag me on Instagram @julieskitchenette.
There are so many fun syrups you can make simply out of fruits, herbs, and spices! I like to do single flavors or combinations that compliment each other well. You can also use brown sugar instead of white for a richer (and darker color) molasses flavor.
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
Fruit, berries, spices, or herbs of choice
Different Flavoring Ideas:
Berries (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, boysenberries, blueberries, etc…) -fresh or frozen, about 1 cup
Currants (about 1 cup)
Cherries (about 1 cup)
Oregon grapes (about 1/2 to 1 cup)
Grapes (about 1 cup)
Kumquats (about 1 cup, sliced in half)
Lemon or orange peel (add to compliment other flavors or add zest of 1 lemon with sugar plus 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice after simmering)
Dried fruit (about 6 oz dried apricots)
Herbs + Chilies
Rosemary sprigs (about 4 thin branch/sprigs_
Pandan leaves (see video)
Thai lime leaves -about 3 to 4 (double leaves)
Fresh mint sprigs (about 1 big handful)
Thai chilies or jalapeno chilies
Fresh thyme sprigs (about 1 handful)
Lavender (about 4-6 tablespoons culinary grade flowers)
Lemon verbena (about 1 big handful)
Vanilla (about 2 tablespoons added after simmering) -use a strong flavored natural one like Nielsen-Massey)
Rose extract or rosewater (Nielsen-Massey makes my favorite!)
Orange blossom water
Vanilla bean (about 2 whole or split)
Spices + Tea:
Cinnamon (about 4 sticks)
Cardamom (about 6 cracked pods)
Ginger (use fresh diced ginger root)
Smoked tea (lapsang Souchong)
Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add fruit, spices, or herbs of choice, and let simmer slowly, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let mixture cool completely. Strain into a clean jar and refrigerate. The flavors will continue to deepen as the syrup sits in the refrigerator.
If using an extract like almond, vanilla, rose, rosewater or orange blossom water, add it the very end of cooking.
- Category: Cocktails
Keywords: simple syrups, cocktails, homemade syrups, fruit syrups, herbal syrups, vegan, gluten-free