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Shalmanese

Bravetart style fruit syrups

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Serious Eats contributor Stella Parks (aka BraveTart) published a guide to making lemon syrups by macerating spent lemon shells in sugar until liquefied and then straining off the resulting liquid. I've tried it and it's an admirably thrifty way of producing something you legitimately are excited to use in either the kitchen or the bar.

 

So far, I've tried lemon and lime syrups (lime adds a distinct bitter note that could be good or bad depending on your preference), syrups with white sugar vs palm sugar (palm is great but grinding it down fine enough is a pain), macerating in a bowl vs a vacuum bag (the bag seems to speed up macerating by keeping all the fruit in contact with the sugar).

 

But probably by far my most successful experiments have been in making pineapple syrups. Since pineapple has such a high inedible:edible ratio, it's a really suited to this kind of technique. What you get out of it is an intensely floral, aromatic syrup with none of the acidity of pineapple juice. It seems to add primarily to the aroma of a drink rather than the taste and it's been a fun ingredient to play around with. I imagine, with some additional gum arabic, it could serve as a interesting replacement for pineapple gomme with a much fresher flavor.

 

Anyway, the technique is so versatile, I'm excited to play around with it more, especially in the context of cocktail making. I'd love to hear everyone else's experiences with these techniques as well.

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Thanks for mentioning pineapple.  I never would have thought to try that.

I like the lemon version a lot and plan to mix up another batch after I zest up a bunch of lemons for homemade limoncello tomorrow.

Orange was less successful for me, as I mentioned over in the sweets thread. Could have been the oranges I used.  They were fresh from my tree but perhaps lacking in some way.  The yield was low, the flavor wasn't particularly strong and it tended to separate with an oily top layer after a little time in the fridge. 

I'm also interested in hearing the experiences of others.

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I've done similar for pineapple syrup, following the recipe at Kindred Cocktails. In that recipe after you've let the sugar extract the pineapple juices, you throw the whole thing (solids and juices) into a blender, then add still more sugar (rich simple) and strain.

 

Now that you have me thinking about it, every Thanksgiving I make a somewhat shameful cranberry salad (shameful because it involves mini marshmallows and whipped cream), the first step of which is to let sugar work its magic on chopped cranberries. I bet a cranberry syrup with that juice would be fantastic in gin drinks...

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As she writes, it's another way to make oleo-saccharum, a key ingredient in many punches. I make it by macerating lemon peels with sugar in a ziplock bag and leaving it in the fridge overnight. 

 

I love the idea of trying it with pineapple! Thanks for sharing!

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