As summer winds down, I find myself looking for respite from the heat anywhere I can find it. Some days the air is so thick on the East Coast I feel like I need oars.
When I’m in those dog-day doldrums, I find that certain scents offer quick refreshment and make my tongue tingle a little bit — and that always makes me happy.
Simple syrups are one of my favorite ways to perk up a cocktail, a glass of iced tea, or even a fruit salad. They are easy to craft (note the name “simple”), so this is a quickie even for the novice cook. This recipe can be adapted for any kind of herb (suggestions below), so think about what your senses are craving and indulge thyself in some refreshment!
Herbed Simple Syrup
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup loosely packed herbs (basil, mint, rosemary, lavender, etc.)
Place ingredients in saucepan and stir, then place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil until sugar is dissolved (1-2 minutes).
Remove from heat, and let stand for 30 minutes. Pour liquid through a strainer into an airtight container and discard herbs. Cover and chill for 2-3 hours.Â Can be stored in refrigerator up to 1 month.