06 April 2012

Things that make drinks better: #1, fruit syrup

Besides the requisite alcohols (gin, tequila, vodka, and rum are my staples), a home bar benefits from some flavoring that don't require a lot of work.  This makes mixing drinks while already buzzed a snap. Luckily, they're usually easy to make at home (do the cooking before getting buzzed).

Fruit syrups are incredibly easy to make, and they can quickly be combined with some booze and/ or soda for a great drink.  You can also blend them with yogurt for a smoothie, though perhaps it wouldn't be as healthy as typical smoothie recipes.  Syrups keep in the refrigerator for quite a while, and they're a great way to use up ripe fruit in a hurry.  I particularly like making mine with strawberry, mango, and raspberry (because I always have too many growing in the back yard), but I can't imagine a fruit that wouldn't work.

Basic Fruit Syrup

1 cup chopped fruit (could also use fresh mint leaves for mint syrup)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water 

Cook fruit with sugar and water until thick in a small saucepan over medium heat. Smash fruit while cooking. For thinner syrup, push through a sieve after cooling.  Store in refrigerator.  

And here's an easy drink to make with your new syrup:

Spring Fever

Makes 1 drink

3/4 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. mango syrup
2 oz. orange juice
1 1/2 oz. tequila 
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with plenty of ice; blend thoroughly and strain into a collins glass over ice.  Garnish with a slice of fruit of your choice if preferred.