Six Simple Syrups

Six simple syrups with fruit and herbs

The good greeff 6 simple syrups
Six Simple Syrups

We love having a bunch of simple syrups on hand. We use them in cocktails, as dressings, sauces and marinades. They make for a great addition to fruit salads and desserts, form the base for delicious sorbets and add a little something extra to champagne cocktails and sparkling water.

When making a couple of syrups at a time, I absolutely destroy my kitchen, and get it over and done with. The best part is always the delicious fragrance that lingers while the mixtures cook… making one or two syrups at a time, is quick and easy, on the other hand.

These are the six simple syrup contenders:

Raspberry Basil Simple Syrup

The good greeff six simple syrups Raspberry Basil.jpg
Raspberry Basil Simple Syrup with Lime

Raspberry and Basil makes for a great combination, and the colour is out of this world. This mixture does not require any blending, and strains easily. The result is a fruity, slightly peppery flavour that works well with champagne cocktails, over fruit salad and in deserts. You can also use this syrup in sparkling water or soda water for a refreshing summery drink.

Renders ± 500ml

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups water

Method

  1. Tear up and bruise the basil leaves, and break apart the raspberries
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat
  3. Boil the mixture for 20-25 minutes, until the sauce begin to thicken
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool down
  5. Strain the liquid through a sieve and store in a sealable container
  6. Refrigerate the mixture until use- it will keep well for up to 1 month

 

Mango Mint Simple Syrup

The good greeff six simple syrups Mango and Mint
Mango & Mint Simple Syrup

Mango and mint is a mojito waiting to happen… This mixture is sweet and fresh at the same time. The colour is a rich yellow with small specs of green mint. The blending process renders a thicker sauce once refrigerated. The combination works well with desserts- think pavlova dressing. It can be stirred into cocktails or shaken with ice to form a refreshing drink.

Renders ± 500ml

Ingredients

  • 1 large mango
  • 1 handful fresh mint
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups water

Method

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the mint, 1 cup water and peeled and sliced mango flesh to form a smooth puree
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat
  3. Boil the mixture for 20-25 minutes, until the sauce begin to thicken
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool
  5. Strain the liquid through a sieve and store in a sealable container (the mixture is pulpy, and you may have to strain it more than once, using smaller sieves or cheesecloth)
  6. Refrigerate the mixture until use- it will keep well for up to 1 month

 

Peach Simple Syrup with Lemongrass, Thai Lime Leaves and Cardamom

The good greeff six simple syrups Peach lemongrass
Peach Simple Syrup with Cardamom, Lime Leaves and Lemongrass

Peach and lemongrass makes for an interesting combination. The lime leaves and cardamom further enhance the citrus flavours to render a fragrant syrup in a light orange/ deep yellow hue. Due to the boiling time, you lose quite a bit of the fresh peach flavour. The spices on the other hand, really performs, rendering a fragrant syrup that works well with summer or winter dishes. Use this syrup over ice creams, in cocktails and with fresh fruity salads.

Renders ± 500ml

Ingredients

  • 2-3 fresh peaches of your choice
  • 1x 7-10cm piece fresh lemongrass
  • 5 Cardamom pods
  • 3-4 dried Thai lime leaves
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups water

Method

  1. Wash the peaches, remove the stone and slice into small segments
  2. Using a blender or food processor, blitz 1 cup of water and peach segments into smaller pieces or a rough paste
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat
  4. Boil the mixture for 25-35 minutes, until the sauce begin to thicken
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool down
  6. Strain the liquid through a course sieve and again through a smaller sieve to remove some of the pulp. Store in a sealable container
  7. Refrigerate the mixture until use- it will keep well for up to 1 month

Spiced Pear Simple Syrup

The good greeff six simple syrups Spiced pear
Pear Simple Syrup with Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Star Anise

Pears have been coupled with warm, comforting spices for ages. Think apple tart/ strudel, but with the subtle sweetness of pears. This combination begs to be paired with a winter-perfect brandy or rum cocktails. The colour is a gentle blush brown, with specs of spices in the body.

Renders ± 500ml

Ingredients

  • 3-4 fresh pears
  • 2 quills cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon fine nutmeg (freshly grated works well)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine star anise
  • ¼ cup finely grated fresh ginger
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups water

Method

  1. Remove the pips and slice the pears into smaller segments
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine the lemon juice, 1 cup water and pear segments to form a puree
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat
  4. Boil the mixture for 20-25 minutes, until the sauce begin to thicken
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool down before straining
  6. Strain the liquid through a sieve and store in a sealable container. To remove more pulp, strain the mixture twice using a smaller sieve for the second straining
  7. Refrigerate the mixture until use- it will keep well for up to 1 month

 

Blueberry Rosemary Simple Syrup

The good greeff six simple syrups Blueberry Rosemary
Blueberry Simple Syrup Infused with Rosemary

Blueberry and rosemary is a less likely combination, but how can you resist this dark and luscious syrup. The rosemary contributes a homely warmth that would partner well with roast lamb. The sweet blueberries contribute loads of colour, and a bit of fruity freshness to break the seeming seriousness of the rosemary. This syrup can be used in cocktails, as a dressing with savoury meals or as an off-the-beaten-track cordial.

Renders ± 500ml

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 4-6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups water

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat
  2. Use a wooden spoon or fork, break up some of the berries
  3. Boil the mixture for 20-25 minutes, until the sauce begin to thicken
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool down
  5. Strain the liquid through a sieve and store in a sealable container
  6. Refrigerate the mixture until use- it will keep well for up to 1 month

 

Watermelon Chili Simple Syrup

The good greeff six simple syrups Watermelon Chili
Watermelon Simple Syrup with Hot Thai Chilies

What a spectacular surprise it was to find that these two ingredients work together so well. The colour is almost identical to that of ruby grapefruit juice- a little orange and a little blush. It also happens to be a firm favourite of several of the ‘taste testers’ that tried out the various syrups. The watermelon keeps its freshness throughout the cooking process, and adds tons of extra liquid to the mixture. The Thai chilies add the perfect spiciness- A gentle warmth on the tongue, that lingers when the sweet fruitiness subsides. Make no mistake, if left unmonitored, these chilies will continue to impart its heat. Burn your head off heat… So make sure you taste regularly, and remove the chilies when the desired level of heat has been infused.

Renders ± 750ml

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups fresh watermelon
  • 2 dried Thai chilies
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups water

Method

  1. Slice the watermelon into thin slices
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat
  3. As the chilies release more spiciness/heat as they cook, taste your mixture regularly to keep track of the spiciness. 10-15 minutes after being introduced into the mixture, the chilies usually render a warm mouth feel, without being too spicy. Once your heat preference is acquired, remove the chilies from the boiling mixture
  4. Boil the mixture for 15-20 minutes, until the watermelon is darker in colour and begin to break apart. If you have not yet removed the chilies, remove them before using an immersion blender to break the watermelon up further. A fine pulp is not required
  5. Boil the mixture for another 15-20 minutes to reduce & thicken. You may add the chilies back into the mixture if you prefer more heat/ spiciness
  6. Remove from heat and allow to cool down
  7. Strain the liquid through a sieve and store in a sealable container
  8. Refrigerate the mixture until use- it will keep well for up to 1 month

All six syrups mix well with water and soda. Feel free to experiment with different flavours and ingredients to develop your very own Signature Simple Syrup.

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