The cold is fast upon us and it is time to winterize those cocktails. We tapped into the forest for some inspiration. Whenever a recipe calls for simple syrup, why not switch it up with one of these sticky suggestions.
Popular in Alaska and Canada, birch syrup is similar to maple syrup, but spicier and a little more concentrated in flavor. We are thinking this would be delicious in your old fashioned or paired nicely with a sweet vermouth and rye. We found a nice source for birch syrup here at Edible Canada.
Again, this would be great with bourbon. We were thinking a whiskey smash with lemon and maple syrup would be a winning combination. Try a barspoon or two in a hot toddy in place of honey. Quality is key here, you want the good stuff! Your local farmers market is a great source for maple syrup as is your local health food store.
We have seen a lot of drinks made with cinnamon syrup lately. Cinnamon is a very versatile spice and is a fun way to winterize some of those summery cocktails. We are thinking this might be fun to try with tequila or rum. Cinnamon margaritas and cinnamon mojitos anyone? The Spice House in Chicago carries a wide assortment of cinnamon if you want to branch out from your local supermarket varieties.
Pine can be very potent, a little goes a long way. But when used at the right proportion, it can add a nice refreshing spin on a cocktail. We think pine compliments the juniper in gin and would be delicious in a tom collins. We like Uncle Harry's for edible pine but have also discovered L'Epicerie.
Note: When making simple syrup, we usually follow a 1:1 ratio of water to sugar/syrup simmered over low heat until the sugar dissolves. The syrup should keep in the fridge for a few weeks.
When making cinnamon syrup we recommend breaking the cinnamon sticks into pieces and simmering them on low for about 30 min. with sugar and water mix. When you reach your desired flavor, strain out cinnamon.
Pine will most likely come in a tincture. You will want to add to sugar water mix literally, one drop at a time for desired flavor.