Cocktail recipes using herb syrups
June 12, 2017 7:32 AM   Subscribe

Looking for cocktail recipes to use up some homemade syrup. We have a bottle of mint, and a bottle of rosemary and thyme.

I can access fancy ingredients but prefer not to spend too much money on something unless I'm sure it will get used! So far we've tried them with gin and tonic, which was nice, but they were a little bit sweet for my tastes, so something to balance out the sweetness would be ideal.

I have seen this question, but am looking for recipes specifically using syrups.

Many thanks!
posted by drunkonthemoon to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
To balance out sweetness in a cocktail, it's hard to go wrong with lime juice.

(Rosemary and thyme? Sounds like you're halfway to a Simon & Garfunkel.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:35 AM on June 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm commenting mainly to bookmark this, since I will be MAKING herb syrups this summer - I think anything that calls for a sugar syrup can be swapped out for herb syrup if you want an extra kick. Like, using the mint syrup in a mojito or mint julep.

I'm on my tablet, but I know I saw something recently involving lemon juice, bourbon and thyme syrup - will look that up and post again.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:36 AM on June 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Like, using the mint syrup in a mojito or mint julep.

The best mojitos I ever had were made with homemade mint syrup. And fresh muddled mint too, of course.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:37 AM on June 12, 2017

I've only glanced through a friend's copy, but this sounds exactly like what the Drunken Botanist would cover.
posted by furnace.heart at 7:41 AM on June 12, 2017

Oh, and don't just do cocktails! Lemonade or limeade can also be punched up thusly. Using mint esyrup in limeade could be kind of like a virgin mojito, and the rosemary in lemonade would be interesting.

If you really get into this, it's easy to make your own herb syrups. You can also add some of the fresh herb to ice cubes and really gild the lily - I have a lemon verbena plant that grows like a mad things and have to regularly cut it back, and so I made a batch of lemon verbena syrup last time, and also froze some whole leaves in ice cubes. Then used both in homemade lemonade yesterday afternoon.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:45 AM on June 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

Agree that any recipe with simple syrup becomes an experimentation base. For example, a friend gave me homemade orange simple for my birthday, so I took this whisky sour recipe, used orange instead of plain simple syrup and added a drop of orange bitters. Yum! If I had herbed syrups, I'd try a whisky sour with mint, as sort of a middle-ground between a whisky sour and a mint julep.

The rosemary/thyme I bet would do well with gin, because it's a botanical-type acent already. You said the gin and tonic and syrup was too sweet for you; so just ditch the tonic. Mix gin, rosemary syrup, seltzer; adjust the amount of syrup until the sweetness is right for your taste. Sip it, consider. Pick a bitters (if you've got any in the house) and add a dash. Sip it again. Better? worse? When I'm testing recipes I often make half-size or smaller drinks so I can mess around with ratios. Don't take it too seriously and just mix what you've got.
posted by aimedwander at 7:57 AM on June 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

My mother in law makes a cocktail with rosemary syrup, grapefruit juice, gin and some sparkling wine or soda water. It's amazing!
posted by Valancy Rachel at 8:08 AM on June 12, 2017

Turn them into soda (basically, mix with sparkling water, seltzer, or flavored unsweetened bubbly beverages to taste or see this recipe for tarragon soda). Thyme pairs nicely with cherry, so you could try it in a cherry flavored seltzer.

This blood orange gin sparkler calls for rosemary syrup. It'd be good with mint or thyme, too. Her Winter Punch recipe also calls for rosemary syrup.

Mint + peaches are a wonderful match, so how about a peach bellini with mint syrup instead of sugar?
posted by carrioncomfort at 8:36 AM on June 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I made rosemary syrup, and used it in a gin/grapefruit juice/rosemary cocktail.

but i see i'm beaten to the punch!
posted by entropone at 8:47 AM on June 12, 2017

One of my all time favorite cocktails is from Roberta's in Brooklyn - its not on the regular menu any longer but they can still whip one up whenever BUT a key component is the twig of rosemary garnish and while im sure they always have rosemary in the kitchens the bartenders wont go get it to make an off menu drink (reasonable enough I guess but grrrrr - that said if they had rosemary syrup at the bar this wouldn't be a problem).

The ingredients: rye (they use old overholt but you don't have to) cynar (an italian amaro made from inedible artichokes, its deep and bitter and excellent, I wouldn't try to sub this one for another amaro) lemon, rosemary and ginger beer. You can play with the proportions to suit yourself, but its not really a highball so you'd be mostly aiming for a splash of the ginger beer to top off an old fashioned glass. I can check the proportions from the cookbook at home, but its a great mix of strong, bitter, sweet and herbal and you should try it.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:19 AM on June 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Well, I totally mis-remembered that promised cocktail with thyme syrup, lemon juice and bourbon - it's actually thyme syrup, lemon juice and gin.

The recipe is "serves 8" and assumes you need to make the thyme syrup from scratch, but you've already got that. So I'mma adapt for you. (If you need the original, Martha says that's a good thing.)

For one cocktail:

2 Tablespoons thyme sugar syrup
1/4 cup lemon juice
about 1/2 cup cold water
2 Tablespoons gin

Combine in a shaker with ice, shake up, and pour into glass. Garnish with thyme sprig.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:41 AM on June 12, 2017

I make a cranberry shrub in autumn that is amazeballs with gin, sparkling water, and rosemary syrup.
posted by bilabial at 10:49 AM on June 12, 2017

I don't have an exact recipe with your syrups, but I'm on a South Side kick recently with fresh mint we have growing. It's a great summer drink, and the recipe is really easy:
South Side
3/4 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. lemon juice
2 oz gin (I use Leatherbee in Chicago, and have seen Plymouth recommended, but I think any fairly neutral gin would work well. I'd avoid a London Dry gin; I've made it with Tanqueray before, and it just didn't work well for the cleanness of this drink.)
4 mint leaves

Muddle the mint in the simple syrup, then add the rest and shake with ice. Serve strained through a fine-mesh strainer.
Taken from my memory of the PDT Cocktail recipe book that is my bible.
I think it might take a couple of trials to tweak this to your specific mint syrup, instead of fresh mint and simple syrup, but as was mentioned above, the acid of the lemon juice balances the sweetness of the syrup really well.

Have fun experimenting!
posted by BevosAngryGhost at 12:52 PM on June 12, 2017

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