I love a simple syrup to add to a cocktail or mocktail especially in the summertime! And now we’re almost there; at least down here in Texas. I tried my first, what I’ll call unusual-ingredient-infused, cocktail at Gramercy Tavern in NYC. It came with an essence of Kaffir lime. Well, I was hooked and spent a significant amount of time trying to figure out how they concocted this incredible beverage that captivated my senses; not to mention quite refreshing after a long day walking around the Big Apple. That was several years ago. Guess what? I’ve never be able to replicate that recipe. And you know what, I don’t want to! The memory and experience was so wonderful that I’m OK with keeping it just so.
That said, here is a super simple recipe for infused simple syrup that will not only flavor your summertime beverage but also sweeten it - if that’s what you want!
1C granulated sugar
1C fresh herb leaves (with stems) or 1 Tbls of spice seeds
Combine sugar, water and 1C of basil leaves in a saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until sugar is dissolved. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Take off heat and let steep for 15 minutes or until cooled. Separate herb or spice from syrup with a sieve. Discard herb or spice. Place into a container that can be tightly sealed and refrigerate. Refrigerate for up to one month. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Yields 1 cup.
The two simple syrups you see in the picture are made with fennel seed and mint.