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(Not So) Simple, Flavored, & Spiced Syrups


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I know Aperol has rhubarb in its flavorings . . .

Cheers,

Marshall

My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them. -Winston Churchill

Co-Author: The Scofflaw's Den

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Slightly off-topic but Ramazotti has some rhubarb notes, doesnt it? or am I thinking of something else? Just wondering what other ways there migth be to add the flavor aside from a syrup.

ramazotti, and aperol use rhubarb root which might be like comparing celery to celery root... books on making aromatized wines consider it mildly bitter and aromatic comparable to angostura, bitter orange, hops, and yarrow...

but i've never had it on its own...

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  • 1 month later...

I've been using agave nectar in a few drinks since picking up a bottle, and it's intriguing. For your basic daiquiri and sour ratios, it's an interesting choice, a bit more subtle than 1:1 simple and 2:1 demerara, but lending a mouthfeel that's pretty silky. I've not had any definitive breakthroughs, but I think that things like Hemingway Daiquiris and Pisco Sours might work very nicely with this.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I've been using agave nectar in a few drinks since picking up a bottle, and it's intriguing. For your basic daiquiri and sour ratios, it's an interesting choice, a bit more subtle than 1:1 simple and 2:1 demerara, but lending a mouthfeel that's pretty silky. I've not had any definitive breakthroughs, but I think that things like Hemingway Daiquiris and Pisco Sours might work very nicely with this.

I remain convinced that there is an earth-shattering cocktail waiting to happen in the combination of agave nectar and scotch. I haven't hit on it yet (and haven't tried much lately actually), but mark my words, it's out there somewhere.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Lately I've experimented with using jaggery (the palm sap kind) as the sweetener in cocktails. What I'm working with isn't so much a syrup as it is a paste.

What we've noticed is a definite "creamy" quality that jaggery seems to contribute to cocktails. Not great for stirred libations, however, as it's quite cloudy.

Edited by slkinsey (log)

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Lately I've experimented with using jaggery (the palm sap kind) as the sweetener in cocktails.  What I'm working with isn't so much a syrup as it is a paste.

What we've noticed is a definite "creamy" quality that jaggery seems to contribute to cocktails.  Not great for stirred libations, however, as it's quite cloudy.

I'm not familiar with this, so I'm not quite sure how thick it is, but do you/can you dilute it to a syrup with water? Does the stuff have a significant flavor of it's own or is it pretty neutral?

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I'm sure you could dilute it into a syrup if you wanted. Often times it comes in a hard cone, in which case you'd need to do something to soften it anyway. No reason not to just go all the way to syrup. We use ours primarily for Thai cooking, so I didn't bother. I just use the paste in similar amounts to 2:1 syrup.

It has a subtle flavor. I couldn't say that I "tasted" the jaggery in the drink as a distinctive flavor the way one might detect maple syrup. But, then again, I can't say that I "taste" the distinctive flavor of agave syrup in a cocktail either. What we did notice was a "creamy" aspect and somewhat richer mouthfeel that was not present in the same drink made with rich cane syrup.

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  • 7 months later...

You can, but it isn't going to taste like regular white refined sugar simple syrup. Just keep that in mind. It's the same reason I keep regular simple syrup, dark Demerara simple syrup, agave nectar and honey syrup at my bar. They all bring something different to the party...

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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i have come in my possesion a bottle of Lyle's Golden Syrup...

Since i have only some limited use for this in cooking/baking...can i use it in my drinks?

(certainly future i will continue to make my own syrups, but i need to use this stuff up)

shanty

I learned the hard way that you need to make a lighter syrup from it by dissolving it with water first, much like honey. Trying to add a barspoon of straight Lyle's to a stirred drink is a surefire way to end up with a cloying, syrupy mess stuck to your spoon and strainer, and a very, very, very dry drink.

As for recipes that it works well in, I never got far enough with it to find out.

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i have come in my possesion a bottle of Lyle's Golden Syrup...

Since i have only some limited use for this in cooking/baking...can i use it in my drinks?

(certainly future i will continue to make my own syrups, but i need to use this stuff up)

shanty

I learned the hard way that you need to make a lighter syrup from it by dissolving it with water first, much like honey. Trying to add a barspoon of straight Lyle's to a stirred drink is a surefire way to end up with a cloying, syrupy mess stuck to your spoon and strainer, and a very, very, very dry drink.

As for recipes that it works well in, I never got far enough with it to find out.

yeah, and for this matter, and for what i am finding out over in the baking thread, i am going to take it and my receipt to the grocery store and return it unopened..

a) i'll stick with my homemade S.S

b) for baking, corn syrup will do just fine

the cost of this stuff, for little gain (and in cocktails loss plus effort), is not worth it

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Just wanted to give a shout-out to good ol' 1:1 simple syrup. I usually have simple, demerara, ginger, lavender honey, and cane syrups in the fridge, but I let the simple run out the other day and decided to see if I could sub in one of the others. For obvious reasons, the flavored syrups are temperamental, but I was surprised at how inappropriate the demerara and cane syrups were no matter what else I tried.

I know that this is obvious to many on this topic, but it seemed worth saying that simple ain't so simple. It delivers a clean, round sweetness that you just don't find in other stuff and it's the perfect compliment to lots of drinks that are ruined without it.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Just wanted to give a shout-out to good ol' 1:1 simple syrup. I usually have simple, demerara, ginger, lavender honey, and cane syrups in the fridge, but I let the simple run out the other day and decided to see if I could sub in one of the others. For obvious reasons, the flavored syrups are temperamental, but I was surprised at how inappropriate the demerara and cane syrups were no matter what else I tried.

I know that this is obvious to many on this topic, but it seemed worth saying that simple ain't so simple. It delivers a clean, round sweetness that you just don't find in other stuff and it's the perfect compliment to lots of drinks that are ruined without it.

CHris:

I'll second your shoutout for regular simple. It really is something every bar needs to have at the ready.

I've even stopped bothering to cook mine. I just measure 1.5 cups sugar into my squeeze bottle and follow it with 1.5 cups of hot water out of the espresso machine. Cap the end with a bar rag and shake for a couple of seconds until dissolved. Let cool. Made right in the container that houses it with no muss, no fuss and no cleanup!

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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You shouldn't need to cook a 1:1 by-volume simple syrup at all. It dissolves completely just from shaking.

Speaking of simple syrup, for home use I have found it a lot more convenient to keep mine at 2:1 rather than 1:1. At 2:1 you really don't need to worry about spoilage. You just have to keep in mind that 2:1 syrup has around 1/3rd more sucrose per ounce than 1:1 syrup. So if the drink calls for 3/4 an ounce of 1:1 simple, you can use around a half ounce of 2:1 in its place.

I also have been making my saturated simple syrups in the microwave. I just put the sugar and water into the bottle I am going to be using, set the microwave to "reheat" and turn it off when the water comes to a boil. Then all you have to do is let the bottle cool and you're all set. Meanwhile, you have sterilized the bottle and its contents.

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I also have been making my saturated simple syrups in the microwave.  I just put the sugar and water into the bottle I am going to be using, set the microwave to "reheat" and turn it off when the water comes to a boil.  Then all you have to do is let the bottle cool and you're all set.  Meanwhile, you have sterilized the bottle and its contents.

Isn't this making an invert sugar, Sam?

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I also have been making my saturated simple syrups in the microwave.  I just put the sugar and water into the bottle I am going to be using, set the microwave to "reheat" and turn it off when the water comes to a boil.  Then all you have to do is let the bottle cool and you're all set.  Meanwhile, you have sterilized the bottle and its contents.

Isn't this making an invert sugar, Sam?

I thought making an inverted simple syrup required adding an acid to reconfigure the sugar to fructose and glucose components? A baker friend was telling me this is done in making fondant.

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You need either invertase or acid to convert a sucrose solution to an invert sugar solution (one in which all the sucrose molecules have been "broken apart" into separate fructose and glucose molecules).

However, if you boil a 2:1 syrup for around 5 minutes, you can split apart enough of the sucrose molecules by thermal means alone to get some of the benefits of invert sugar (for our purposes, this means that the saturated solution is less likely to recrystalize). But this is by no means enough to call the result an "invert sugar" syrup.

Regardless, my microwave method doesn't take nearly that long. It really only comes to the boil for a few seconds. You have to keep your eye on it and hit the "stop" button as soon as the bubbles start to climb up the neck of the bottle. The nice thing about using the microwave is that the second you hit the stop button, the liquid immediately stops boiling.

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We always have several bottles of simple and demerera syrup behind the bar, and get through them both in roughly equal quantities. Many drinks suit one or the other better, but there are also a good number where either will make an equally good, but subtly different drink. For instance we tend to make mojitos with demerera in the wintter and white in the summer.

We make them both 1:1 using a couple of large, gaudy, POS ice buckets that we keep aside specifically for that purpose (they look too horrible to inflict on customers!) Just add the requisite amount of sugar to the bucket, add the same volume in boiling water straight from the kettle, stir, allow to cool and bottle. We get through it all quick enough that shelf life never becomes an issue.

i have come in my possesion a bottle of Lyle's Golden Syrup...

Since i have only some limited use for this in cooking/baking...can i use it in my drinks?

(certainly future i will continue to make my own syrups, but i need to use this stuff up)

shanty

I learned the hard way that you need to make a lighter syrup from it by dissolving it with water first, much like honey. Trying to add a barspoon of straight Lyle's to a stirred drink is a surefire way to end up with a cloying, syrupy mess stuck to your spoon and strainer, and a very, very, very dry drink.

As for recipes that it works well in, I never got far enough with it to find out.

I'm particularly fond of using golden syrup, it's probably a cultural thing - it's almost a staple in the UK and something a lot of people grew up with. It has a very distinctive taste (to me anyway!) that is best suited to lighter drinks. It's quite easy to use neat - add it to your tin/glass first along with the base spirit, stir these two for a minute until it has dissolved then carry on as normal, this way you avoid having to add extra water.

We also stock a wide, everchanging range of infused syrups. It's generally great in that you can offer a continuos variety of cocktails, but can be a bit annoying when you can't make the drink a customer loved on their last visit because you don't have any orange and clove syrup this week. (that's one of my favourites BTW)

Cheers,

Matt

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You need either invertase or acid to convert a sucrose solution to an invert sugar solution (one in which all the sucrose molecules have been "broken apart" into separate fructose and glucose molecules).

However, if you boil a 2:1 syrup for around 5 minutes, you can split apart enough of the sucrose molecules by thermal means alone to get some of the benefits of invert sugar (for our purposes, this means that the saturated solution is less likely to recrystalize).  But this is by no means enough to call the result an "invert sugar" syrup.

Regardless, my microwave method doesn't take nearly that long.  It really only comes to the boil for a few seconds.  You have to keep your eye on it and hit the "stop" button as soon as the bubbles start to climb up the neck of the bottle.  The nice thing about using the microwave is that the second you hit the stop button, the liquid immediately stops boiling.

Ah, ok. I've always been under the impression that bringing sucrose and water (1:1) to a boil for any length of time would break things up into mostly fructose and glucose, with a bit of sucrose left. I guess it's been awhile since i've thumbed through the sugar section in McGee...

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've tried the Mexican raw sugar but didn't like it and, probably because I didn't heat it enough, molded very quickly. Something that I have liked a LOT is PANELA "brown sugar cane" the ingredients are "cane juice". It comes from Columbia and is sold in little blocks that are 1lbs. I got all scientific and decided to do a real 2:1, but of course everyone is laking 2 cups to 1 cup so what do I do with a 1 lbs block? I took measurements and converted CU inches to cups etc and came out with 2/3rds of a cup of water. But that looked way too little, so I weighed a cup of white sugar and well as one might expect that block is a LOT denser that loose sugar. So you actually want about 1 1/4 cups of water to get a 2:1.

Anyway it has a definite molasses component. If you don't like molasses it's not going to do it for you. But if you like say Cuzan Black strap rum, this is a bit like that. I found I really liked it in, well just about everything, well dark drinks. Since you will always get some of that molasses coming through there are things it's not going to work with. But tasty!.

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My dear friend (and constant cocktail guinea pig) gave me a bottle of rose geranium syrup he'd made. We topped it with champagne as an aperitif before dinner. Delicious and elegant and incredibly easy. His geraniums are sprouting like weeds, so I have to think of something delicious to do with it so he can give me a few cuttings and I can get someone else to keep them alive for me! Gin definitely comes to mind, but I wonder if more of a "blank slate" like cachaca might be a good base spirit to play with. How about Pisco? Perhaps a rose scented Pisco Sour? That might be really good....

What say all of ye?

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Chris:

It tastes exactly the way the leaves smell when you run your hands through them. Very much like roses (although less cloyingly "soap-scented", if that makes sense), with a bit of a vegetal aftertaste - a little like the subtle green pepper hints in Cabernet Franc. Vegetal, but in a good way...

It's hard to describe the flavor precisely. But defintely more like straight rosewater, than anything like orange flower-y. But I suppose one could substitute one floral aspect for the other, no?? Perhaps some sort of Ramos Gin Fizz variant would be interesting. I'll see how I'm feeling later tonight. If I need a cocktail (it doesn't take much to get me there) I'll mess with this idea and see what I get.

edited to add: Meh. I have no heavy cream or club soda in the house. I'll bring some home from work tomorrow night and make up a drink then...

Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Ok - here is the process and photos of the Rosy Fizz. First attempt (and the drink pictured) was made with Mae de Ouro Cachaca instead of gin to see if the "blank slate" allowed the flavor of the Rose Geranium syrup to shine through. I did a dry shake with a Hawthorne spring in the shaker - first with just the egg white and then with all the ingredients before adding ice.

gallery_7409_476_262031.jpg

Fizz mixed in the shaker.

gallery_7409_476_325519.jpg

Pouring into the glass.

gallery_7409_476_283144.jpg

Completed Fizz.

gallery_7409_476_266372.jpg

Serious creamy head.

While I enjoyed the Rosy Fizz alternative to a standard Ramos Gin Fizz, sometimes it's best not to mess with a classic. The cachaca version was tasty enough, but boring. Tasted like a fizzy rose scented glass of milk. Second drink I made was a standard Ramos Gin Fizz recipe, using the rose geranium syrup and a small spoonful of agave nectar powder instead of sugar. This was delicious. It leads me to believe that a few drops of rose water could easily be substituted for the orange flower water in the Ramos Gin Fizz recipe to no ill effect. So I suppose I've proven my original supposition that one floral aspect easily swaps out for another, but in a roundabout way. It would have been easier to just substitute rose water for orange flower water in the first place! :rolleyes:

Rose geranium syrup is delicious with gin. But we already knew that too, from drinking Hendrick's.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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