Cocktails

Infused syrups

From Tasty Science

Equipment needed:

  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Cheese cloth
  • Mason jars

Most of the recipes below make a cup or so of flavored syrup, and can be easily doubled/tripled for a party. I buy a bunch of 8 oz ball jars to have around for my work, and they work great for storing syrups in the fridge too. Syrups keep 1 month refrigerated, if not longer. By the way, most of these are great for flavoring lemonade or ice tea too!

The technique is pretty much the same for all — Mince/Heat/Steep/Strain.

Basic Technique:

  • Mince, grate, crush flavoring.
  • Heat sugar and water until boiling, stir to dissolve sugar.
  • Pour over flavoring ingredient and steep until room temperature.
  • Strain through cheesecloth-lined strainer – when most of the liquid has drained, you can give the cheesecloth a squeeze too.
  • Keep in jar in refrigerator until using.

Herb Syrups:

Use fresh herbs, not dried, and the more finely minced the herb, the stronger the flavor it imparts. These work best for the more tender herbs, like basil, parsley, cilantro, and sorrel, and fresh lavender flowers.

Basic Herb Syrup for Basil, Parsley, Cilantro, Sorrel, Lavender

  • 1 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped herbs

Prepare using basic technique.

Suggested Cocktails:  Basil or cilantro syrup are great in margaritas, lemonade, Tom Collins, or added to ice tea. Lavender is lovely in lemonade (spiked or not) or ice tea. Sorrel has a wonderful lemony flavor, great with vodka and soda, gin or vodka tonic.

Cucumber Syrup

I recently discovered this one, and am just itching to put it with lime and tequila or vodka on the next hot day!

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup grated english cucumber (unpeeled – give a beautiful color)

Add the grated cucumber to a bowl — you want the flesh and any juice so I just grate it in a big bowl.  Bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Pour over grated cucumber, pushing the cucumber down so it is completely covered. Steep until room temperature. Strain through cheesecloth-lined strainer. Keep refrigerated.

Spice Syrups

When making spice-infused syrups, use crushed whole spices instead of powdered.

Green Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Coriander, Fennel or Allspice Syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 oz crushed pods, berries, sticks, seeds, etc.

Prepare using basic technique.

Turmeric or Ginger Syrup

Turmeric syrup is a GORGEOUS saffron color, and with everyone all into turmeric these days, finding the fresh root in the market is getting pretty easy. This is more for color than flavor, but the syrup does have a subtle earthy flavor that is nice in citrus-based cocktails. Ginger syrup has spice and heat, and is wonderful in margaritas or other citrus-based cocktails, and is wonderful in tea or lemonade too.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 oz grated peeled root (remove the peels or you will have bitterness)

Prepare using basic technique.

Limoncello mint sparklers Serves 6

From Killer Heels

These are just plain damn fine!  However, be forewarned — that limoncello will sneak up on you…(those innocent little lemons…shocking!) 😉

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup chilled limoncello
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups chilled sparkling water

Combine mint and limoncello in a bowl, then gently bruise mint with a pestle or wooden spoon to release flavor. Chill, covered, 1 hour. Pour limoncello through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher, pressing firmly on mint and then discarding it. (NOTE: this can be done ahead too and stored in the fridge until you are ready to serve.) Just before serving, stir in lemon juice, sparkling water, and enough ice to fill pitcher. Calories: 105/glass

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