Our last few posts have featured some fabulous herbs – Borage and Wood Sorrel – that are great fresh, but how do we preserve their flavor to enjoy past their season? A great way to do this is by making a flavored syrup out of them! Infused herb syrups have so many uses and can bring a fresh, leafy flavor to drinks and dishes all through the winter. My favorite ways to use herbal syrups:
- Cocktails – So many cocktails call for simple syrups, so why not switch it up by replacing plain simple syrup with a flavored one? You can make our Borage G&T all year long by using Borage syrup in place of fresh Borage.
- Sodas and “Ades” – Mix herb syrups with water in a 1:3 ratio to make sodas by using fizzy water or still water to make “ades” like the Wood Sorrel Lemonade described below and hinted at in our previous post.
- Desserts – Replace the liquid called for in cakes or muffins with herbal syrups or brush herbal or floral syrup between cake layers after baking to add that extra little something.
Simply fill a heat safe bowl or pot with herb leaves or flowers. The more you pack in there, the stronger your final syrup flavor will be. You can tear or crush/pound them to release more flavor.
Heat a kettle of water to boiling. Pour enough of the boiling water over the leaves to cover them completely. Let steep covered with a lid for at least 20 minutes, but ideally overnight.
Strain leaves and squeeze out any liquid. Reheat herbal infusion with an equal part sugar (i.e., 1:1 ratio) until sugar is fully dissolved. You can also add lemon or lime juice at this stage if you prefer an added tartness.
If stored in a sterile jar in the refrigerator at this point, the syrup will keep for a couple of months.
Featured Syrup Idea: Wood Sorrel Lemonade
As our previous post mentioned, a common yard weed, Wood Sorrel, can make a tasty all-local lemonade substitute! Use the Wood Sorrel plants as the herb in the above recipe to make Wood Sorrel Syrup. Mix the syrup with water in a 1:3 ratio and serve over ice for a delicious lemonade drink!
Stay tuned for our next post, when we’ll go over how to mix this with our Wild Bergamont infused vodka for a delicious sweet tea vodka and lemonade cocktail!