Flavored syrups are a simple way to add flair to your cocktails. But you don’t need the store-bought variety. You can take your favorite fruit, herbs and even vegetables and turn them into a cocktail syrup. It’s as easy as boiling water! And who says the syrup is just for cocktails? Mix it with club soda or sparkling water for an easy homemade soda.
Here is the basic formula and instructions:
1 part water
1 part sugar
1 part flavoring ingredient (this is chopped fruit or vegetables, sprigs of herbs or a combination)
Boil all ingredients for five minutes (or long if you want a stronger flavor), let the mixture cool, strain out the solids and refrigerate the liquid. About one quarter of the liquid evaporates in the cooking process.
- Adjust the amount of fruit slightly based on how intense you want the flavor and how strong the fruit or herb is. For example, apples are a mild flavor so you may want to add more and let it steep longer.
- For a more subtle herb flavor when mixing fruit and herbs, don’t add the herb until the last-minute. Then remove from heat and let steep for 10-20 minutes, depending on desired flavor. You can even add a sprig to the bottle or jar you’ll be storing it in.
- For citrus, use the rind as well as the juicy part.
- You don’t have to throw the fruit away after straining it out. It makes a great topping for ice cream or cake.
- Use honey instead of sugar to mix it up!
- A homemade syrup doesn’t keep as long as the commercial variety. It will last about three weeks. Add some vodka to prolong the life to two months.
Suggested flavor combinations:
- Strawberry basil
- Blackberry lemon
- Lemon honey
- Mango lime
- Honey peach
- Raspberry mint
- Orange strawberry
You can learn more about this technique and many, many others in our book … DIY Cocktails. Buy it!
Photo by Jackson Stakeman from DIY Cocktails.