Compound syrups are a great way to infuse another layer of flavor into your cocktail recipes. Where a simple syrup adds sweetness only, a compound syrup adds sweetness and flavor, and is a great way to capture and preserve bright fruit flavors.
Making them at home is very easy. Start with a basic simple syrup, add herbs, fruit, or spices, and simmer them for about 5 minutes. Cool, strain out the solids, and store in a clean glass container in the fridge. They’ll keep for about a month.
Here are some flavors we really love:
(based on a 1½ cup white sugar:1 cup water recipe)
- Ginger – 4-5″ fresh ginger root – roughly peeled & sliced ¼” thick
- Lavender – 1 tbsp dried blossoms
- Lemongrass – add 1 tbsp dried or 2 stalks fresh, cut into slices
You can also take things one step further, and combine some of these ingredients for an even more complex compound syrup:
- Cranberry-Ginger – 3/4 cup fresh cranberries (washed) then mash with potato masher after simmering and before straining, and add 2” fresh ginger root, washed & sliced
If you keep a few lemons and limes on hand, and you’ve got the makings of some great cocktails on the fly. These syrups easily tweak a Gimlet or Collins into a more interesting, seasonal drink.
– Insider tip: The cooked fruits you are left with after straining are great on ice cream or waffles! –