Monday, November 4, 2013

Simple syrup...more ways to use sage and other herbs

I have been primarily a wine drinker, lving full bodied reds as well as Chardonnays and other dry whites. However, as I mentioned in an earlier blog, I have started to enjoy herbal, non sweet cocktails.

We went out to dinner this weekend with friends to a bar/restaurant in Philly called Stateside, which is known for their cocktails, using liquor made in small batch American distilleries. I had the "Talkin John Birch Society Paranoid Blues", quite a mouthful to say but also a mouthful of intriguingly delicious flavors. So good I had to have two! It had Blue coat gin, sage, lemon, a "bourbon rinse" and a tiny bit of grenadine for color.

It was so good, we tried to recreate it when we got home...with limited success. After a few tries, I consulted with my oldest son, who has become adept at making flavored vodkas (bacon, pepper, various and sundry herbs) as well as simple syrups. He suggested what was missing was a sage simple syrup and I think he was spot on! So yesterday I decided to use up more of my prodigious sage crop and make a simple syrup from it. I looked up various methods on the internet and adapted a recipe that doesn't have to be refrigerated and should last a good six months.

Well, it turned out fabulous! I'm going to make some more this with the fresh lavender I have growing in one of my flower beds. So here you go:

Sage (or any infused) Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 pinch of cream of tartar
  • 20 sage leaves, rough chopped (or 4 teaspoons of lavender)

Bring the water, sugar and cream of tartar to a boil, then turn to simmer and add the herbs.
Simmer for 20 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, and strain out the herbs.
Store in a clean glass jar for a good 6 months.

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