Today, I found raspberries. Plump, rosy, organic bits of locally grown perfection. They called to me from the produce section, “Erin! Take us home! Love us like no one else can!” What could I do?
Well, if you’re me, you take that as a sign the universe wants you to take another shot after your last disastrous attempt at the perfect Clover Club (think: egg on your face. And Alex’s. And the cat’s). But that’s a story for another day. For now, I’d just like to take a moment to focus on the reason our apartment smelled so damn lovely all day. Because if you’re in a syrup making mood, you sure as hell don’t brew just one!
First up: Raspberry
If any simple syrup can be called ‘labour intensive’, this might be it, simply because you need to wander back to the kitchen a couple of times to stir it as the raspberries break down. And then, horror of horrors, strain it through cheesecloth, which takes all of two minutes. You’ll need:
- about a pound of raspberries…you don’t need to be super specific
- 2 cups each of water and sugar
Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring ’til the sugar dissolves. Add the raspberries and turn down to low, letting them simmer until they break apart – about 20-30 minutes. Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer, either straight into your container or (if you’re as clumsy as I am) into a bowl first, then the bottle.
Idiot proof, delicious and perfect when you want sweetness with a bit more character than a regular or rich simple syrup. You’ll need:
- a cup of honey
- half a cup of water
Add the honey to the boiling water, stir together until the honey has ‘dissolved’ and no longer leaves tracks behind the spoon. Pour it into your container. Make delicious things.
And last: Rosemary
My brother is of the opinion that if there’s any possible way to add rosemary to a given food or drink item, Alex or I will find it and proceed to add twice the amount necessary. I don’t know that I’d go that far, but I’m a sucker for that woody, wintery aroma. It’s an olfactory happy place. You’ll need:
- a cup of water
- a cup of sugar
- 3-4 sprigs of rosemary
Combine the water and sugar over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the rosemary to the pot, and let it simmer for a few minutes. If you want a stronger rosemary flavour, let it steep a while after taking it off the heat. Strain it through a fine mesh strainer to ensure you don’t get any twigs in your final container.
I tried ’em out in a few things, and I’ll post those here later in the week. I’m trying a couple of things off-book, so we’ll see how those turn out. Also, Alex gave me a bottle of Snap for our anniversary, so that’s all sorts of potential fun coming up. If anyone reads this, and comes up with something delicious using any of these – please share!
**Note: Most methods will tell you to cool the syrup before bottling it. Since I am both impatient and in possession of a tiny kitchen with an equally tiny refrigerator, I pour them in and then place the bottles in the freezer until they’re cool to the touch. Whatever works for you, but don’t think you’re going to ruin the mix either way.