Herb Syrup – for cocktails and lemonade

Alright, well, I hate to admit it, but today was a gloriously brisk fall day. Bah, humbug. :) I am not ready to say goodbye to summer just yet. We have so little of it here in Portland!

As I was walking outside in the chilly morning, putting off my run (which I did eventually go on), I noticed that herbs looked a little, well.. down. Sadly. Especially my parsley – that plant is such a diva. It’s the first to wilt when it gets a even a little warm. And now it’s cool – the EXACT conditions during which it moved from being a teensy seedling into a grown-up flower pot and flourished.

It motivated me to get moving on using these herbs. I need to figure out what’s best to do with them as our beautiful sunny weather wears down. And the first thing I did was to cut a handful of sprigs from each plant and make some herbal syrup – perfect for homemade artisan cocktails or an extra nuance to your lemonade or smoothie.

And most importantly, it’s a way to keep the lovely life of your herbs around for a little longer. Summer, I refuse to let you go! Yet, anyway. Soon enough my love for boots, tights and scarves means I will give in.

Making this stuff couldn’t be more simple. Start by going out side (or to your herb pots, if you grow them inside). Pick a varied bouquet. I used basil, oregano, chives and parsley.

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Fresh herbs – you can either do several whole sprigs, or I chopped them up for maximum absorbing. Chopped, I probably used 1/4 cup per pint of syrup.

 

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Add the herbs and allow the solution to boil for about a minute (exactitude is not very important).

Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to infuse for 30 minutes. Use a fine-mesh strainer to remove the herbs, and funnel it into glass containers for long-term storage.

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