Seasonal Syrup Recipes
I'm a big fan of homemade syrups. I use them in homemade sodas, cocktails, sauces, over pancakes -- everywhere. Homemade simple syrups are easy to make yet they have a big impact -- your friends and family will be incredibly impressed that you are making your own sodas or cocktail syrups. Once you start making these you'll want to start testing your own recipes and combinations. In fact, any of these base recipes can be customized with additional herbs or flavors.
Here are four of my favorite recipes that will take you through every season:
Spring: Honey Mint Syrup -- This syrup calls to mind the first honeybees buzzing from flower to flower and the bright flavor of the fresh herbs that start to appear in the garden each spring. Use this simple syrup in an Easter punch, a
mint julep, the classic Bee’s Knees cocktail, or a spring grapefruit soda.
Summer: Meyer Lemon Syrup -- Meyer lemons have a complex flavor that combines a mild sweet-forward tartness with floral, herb-like notes, though you could certainly use traditional lemons or any type of citrus in this recipe (Meyer lemons are traditionally found from winter through late spring/early summer in the U.S., but they are now imported year-round). Use this syrup as a base for a sparkling summery lemonade or Arnold Palmer, or add it to any citrusy cocktail, including the classic lemon drop.
Fall: Cranberry Syrup -- Cranberry syrup has an appealing tartness that cuts through the rich flavors associated with the cool weather of autumn. Serve a refreshing cranberry cooler at the kids’ table on Thanksgiving, or add it to Champagne or an American whiskey for an adult twist. You can also add it to a Moscow Mule or apple cider for a refreshing drink around the autumn campfire.
Winter: Cinnamon Syrup -- This syrup will take you from autumn and carry you straight through the winter. Use it in rich rum- or bourbon-based cocktails, add it to spiced mulled wine, or mix with apple cider and sparkling water for a refreshing drink after a day or skiing or sledding.
Training & Qualifications
I have a Master's degree in the study of food culture; certificates in the culinary arts, baking, wine, and cheese production; I work for a food trends company; and I teach cooking classes here in Chicago.