Sage Blossoms Part 2: Simple Syrup
June 18, 2012 § 8 Comments
I don’t know anything about cocktails. I’m that girl who walks up to a well-stocked bar and says “I’d like something… with lime…” I don’t know my Cointreau from my Curacao (okay, I do actually know that much). But I’d like to learn, because (1) cocktails are delicious and (2) cocktails are another way I can use my canning creations!
I never liked martinis until I made a dirty gin martini with the brine from last year’s rosemary pickled green beans. So good.
So remember how in part one when I made sage blossom jelly I said that I picked all the sage blossoms off individually instead of pruning off the entire flowering stem? Well, I’m glad I did – because the whole plant re-bloomed within a couple days! I already had enough jars of my beautiful pale pink jelly to keep me and my croissants happy for a little while, so on to new horizons: sage blossom simple syrup.
As it turns out, simple syrup is really simple. I used a basic 1:1 liquid:sugar ratio, and the same steeping technique as for the jelly. Simple syrup will keep in the fridge for quite a while according to what I read online, but my fridge has a lot of half-full jars of tasty odds and ends already. I figured if you can put up fruit preserved in simple syrup, surely you can put up simple syrup preserved in simple syrup. And now I have a secret weapon to unleash in the depths of the next New England winter: pry open a jar, and sunshine and birdsong will magically fill the world once more. Right?
2 cups sage blossoms
2 1/4 cups water
2 T lemon juice
2 cups sugar
1. Clean blossoms. Bring water to boil and pour over the blossoms in a heat-safe bowl.
2. Cry a little when the beautiful purple blossoms turn brown. (Remember this part?)
3. Add the lemon juice now. Rejoice when the blossom-water turns pink! (This part will never get old)
4. Steep overnight.
5. Strain through a jelly bag if you have it, or in my case a tea filter bag. You should have about two cups of liquid.
6. Bring the liquid and sugar to a full rolling boil. Ladle into jars with 1/8 inch headspace and process for 10 minutes.
I took a Mason jar of this to a barbecue at a friend’s house in a swanky part of town. Her backyard is an urban oasis of hanging lanterns and ivy creeping up weathered brick walls. We sat around her firepit toasting marshmallows and drinking this pale pink refresher (proportions very approximate, mix to your taste) while her giant fuzzy dog napped on our feet.
1/2 oz sage blossom simple syrup
1 oz vodka
Squeeze of lime
Splash of soda water
Shake syrup and vodka with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain into glass. Top with lime and soda water. Serve with lime wedge and giant fuzzy dog (optional but recommended).
What’s in your sage blossom syrup cocktail, and what would you name it? What are your tips for a cocktail beginner?