The Long Way Around: Homemade syrup and a cocktail to boot!

So I just got paid, and I promised myself that I’d spend around £10-£20 on some quality fresh ingredients for some lovely little infused simple syrups; you know fresh rhubarb, quality oranges, some ripe figs etc…

Whether they’re used in cocktails or simply as an ice-cream topper is up to the consumer but I started with something I’ve been wanting to recreate for a long time…

The Grapefruit Simple Syrup

Recipe:

100g granulated sugar

100ml water

2 tbsp finely grated red-grapefruit zest

Method:

  • Combine the zest and sugar in a bowl and mix vigorously.
  • Combine with water in a tall sided saucepan.
  • Simmer on a medium-low heat for around 10 minutes, stirring well the entire time.
  • After around 10 minutes the sugar should have dissolved. If not leave for another 5 minutes.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved, turn down to a low heat and leave to thicken a little.
  • Once thickened, remove from the heat and pour into a metal bowl. Cover and leave to cool for at least 30 minutes. Go away and enjoy a nice episode of your favourite TV show.
  • Once cooled, fine strain (using a muslin cloth if possible) the mixture to remove the grapefruit zest.
  • Funnel the liquid into the required amount of sterilised stopper bottles (see the picture above for the bottles I used).
  • Label and store in the fridge. If this is done right, it will keep for 1-3 weeks, although you should use it within 3-5 days after first opening. Tip: split high volumes up into smaller amounts so you don’t have to throw a lot away.

This syrup is a little bitter, but bursting with flavour. It really packs a grapefruit kick and is lovely on a dessert (ice-cream, rice pudding etc…), breakfast (porridge anyone?) and of course beverages including cocktails!!!

Here’s the reason I made this syrup in the first place; my long way around Paloma…

Long Way Around: Paloma

The Long Way Around Paloma... Tequila, with a twist...
The Long Way Around Paloma… Tequila, with a twist…

Recipe:

50ml Aqua Riva Reposado Tequila

25ml fresh grapefruit/orange juice

15ml Grapefruit infused simple syrup

Top up Soda Water

Method:

  • Build ingredients one by one in a tall, ice-filled, Collins glass.
  • Top up with the soda water and stir gently, to mix the ingredients.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge/slice and serve with a straw (or two).

For an added twist though why not try out a Cointreau Bomb: Using a mexican elbow; Squeeze the lime juice out of a lime half and then turn the lime the other way around and press the elbow together again. Tie the elbow and leave while you prepare the drink. Once the drink has been prepared the fun begins. Sit the now ‘hollowed-out’ lime half on top of your drink and fill with Cointreau.

Just before drinking push the lime half under and then enjoy…

Ingredients, Left to Right: Lime Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Aqua Riva Tequila, Cointreau, Soda Water, Fresh Grapefruit & Grapefruit infused Syrup.
Ingredients, Left to Right: Lime Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Aqua Riva Tequila, Cointreau, Soda Water, Fresh Grapefruit & Grapefruit infused Syrup.

This ‘long-way-around’ version of a great tequila cocktail is a little more bitter than it’s more simple cousin but it’s also got a greater depth in flavour and allows the drink to come across a little fresher.

I also think that creating a drink like this also adds the sophistication that using canned grapefruit soda removes. A classy little cocktail made In a loving, yet sophisticated way.

Not to mention the self-satisfaction you’ll get from creating your own infused simple syrup!

Give both of these recipes a go and let me know what you think, if you’re feeling a like a party try comparing this version of the Paloma to one made with grapefruit soda and see which you prefer…

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