Gluten-Free, Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free
Cost of Ingredients: $ Time: 30 mins
As a former bartender, I often try to think of ways to make simple drinks a little more interesting. I recently bought some habanero shrub that adds a great bit of spice to a smokey mezcal margarita. In the winter I make various spice syrups that work equally well in an old fashioned or a latte. But these days it’s starting to feel like summer around here, and one of my warm weather go-to drinks is a cold gin and tonic, preferably with lime and lemon (yes, both, try it, you won’t regret it!).
While I try to grow my own herbs often, I seem to have no green thumb at all, so when we bought a grill recently (stay tuned for food recipes using this new gadget!) I decided to buy some herbs to add to our dinner. While my partner was cooking outside, I prepped some quick cocktails to enjoy in the sunshine.
Simple syrup is just that, super simple. Combine equal parts water and sugar, and heat until dissolved. Once cooled, store in a jar or bottle in the fridge. This is a great way to sweeten iced coffee without ending up with a layer of sugar granules in the bottom of the cup. And it’s a great way to add a variety of flavors to drinks!
I let this mixture just barely boil before taking it off the heat to cool down. The rosemary infuses as the mixture cools, and it will be ready to use in about 30 minutes.
The syrup will keep for a week or two in the fridge, so I make small amounts to make sure I use it all up. A one cup of each of water and sugar fit perfectly in these little bottles, and they make pouring the finished syrup mess-free.
I didn’t have any fresh lemons and limes on hand when I made this G and T the other night, but the rosemary syrup added a nice bit of earthy and fresh flavor.
1 cup sugar*
1 cup water
herbs of your choosing**
- Add water to pot, turn to medium heat.
- Add sugar and herbs.
- Heat until just barely boiling.
- Remove from heat and let infuse and cool for at least 30 minutes.
- Strain into bottle or jar.
- Mix drinks and enjoy! ***
*I used white granulated sugar for this one, brown sugar also works well, the syrup will be a bit darker in color and have a bit more of a caramel flavor. Honey is also an option!
**I used a few sprigs of fresh rosemary in this version, but feel free to experiment! Lavender makes a great floral simple syrup, make a citrus version with orange and grapefruit peels (remove as much of the pith as you can), add a few drops of rosewater, or use some fresh sage leaves. Let me know what combinations you come up with! When it gets colder outside I’ll make sure to post the cinnamon spice syrup recipe, too.
***In a 16oz glass with a few ice cubes, add 1.5 to 2 oz of gin (Hendricks is great, but Tanqueray is our less expensive go-to, if you can find it, Half Moon Orchard Gin is my favorite!), add few slices of lemon and lime (or a splash or two of lime juice) and top with tonic water.