Tag Archives: jalapeno

Sweet, Sweet Infusions: Sugar and its Syrup!

One of the infusion types I mentioned in my introduction post was that of sugar syrup infusing.

Every bartender will tell you that sugar syrup is an essential part of their arsenal and that a well-prepared syrup has the potential to raise a cocktail above the realms of normality.

Below you will find the recipes for 4 very different sugar syrup infusions, including a special spicy concoction that is perfect for those heat lovers out there!

Disclaimer: although usually I’d offer up a complimentary cocktail recipe for each of these syrups, to make the post less cluttered I’ve simply stated the spirit(s) they pair with the best!

#1 Rhubarb Simple Syrup

A stunning red hue, this rhubarb syrup is perfect for adding a little colour to your cocktails...
A stunning red hue, this rhubarb syrup is perfect for adding a little colour to your cocktails…

Ingredients:

400 grams fresh Rhubarb

100 grams sugar

100ml water

Method:

  • Add ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to the boil on a medium heat. Stirring consistently.
  • Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Turn heat down to low and simmer.
  • The rhubarb will begin to soften around 5/6 minutes in (this is normal so don’t panic!)
  • Allow mixture to thicken a little (around 2-5 minutes) and then remove from heat.
  • Strain* mixture into a sterile container and allow to cool.
  • Seal and keep refrigerated.

*when straining gently press the fruit pieces to gain a little more juice (flavour) but be careful not to press to hard as it will make your syrup go cloudy!

This is the most versatile of the 4 recipes and works brilliantly with vodka or gin. It is particularly good in a bramble (in place of the blackberry liqueur!) and also pairs well with light mixers or those non-drinkers out there! – Homemade Rhubarb Lemonade anyone?

#2 Honey & Rosemary Sugar Syrup

Infusing honey with rosemary is a quick way to make this syrup. Although it tastes better with the cooked method...
Infusing honey with rosemary is a quick way to make this syrup. Although it tastes better with the cooked method…

Ingredients:

2-3 Rosemary Sprigs

100ml Honey

50ml water

Method:

  • Mix the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil – on a medium heat.
  • Once boiling reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Turn off heat after 2 minutes and leave to cool (covered).
  • Strain out rosemary ad store in a sterile container.

Once this item is cooled seal it and keep it refrigerated. It should keep for up to 4 weeks (although if it looks spoiled at any point please don’t risk it – bin it and make some more!)

This particular syrup is a little more to taste and less sweet than the blueberry syrup but that just means it’s that perfect herbal addition to your favourite Whisky/Bourbon cocktail. It also mixes well with more savoury vodka and gin cocktails and does make a mean G&T.

#3 Cucumber & Mint Simple Syrup

Cucumber & mint - Perfect in your next G&T
Cucumber & mint – Perfect in your next G&T

Ingredients:

100 grams Sugar

100ml Water

½ Cucumber (Diced)

10 leaves fresh Mint

Method:

  • Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • When the sugar has dissolved turn the heat off and allow to cool.
  • Once cooled add in the cucumber and mint. Leave in for at least 1hr but for a more concentrated flavour leave it in for longer (Keep refrigerated at all times).
  • Strain away the cucumber and mint and store accordingly.

This syrup has an odd aftertaste but is still a great tasting mix regardless. It mixes well with Gin and Vodka (as you’d expect) but also makes a great twist on the classic mojito – blending well with White rum.

#4 Spicy Jalapeno Simple Syrup

The striking green colour is what gives this syrup its WOW factor...
The striking green colour is what gives this syrup its WOW factor…

Ingredients:

100 grams sugar

100ml water

1 Jalapeno (sliced lengthways)

Method:

  • Simmer the water and sugar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Take of the heat once the sugar has dissolved and cover to cool.
  • Once cooled add the Jalapeno slices and leave for at least 1hr*.
  • After the infusion time has passed, sieve out the jalapeno and store in a sealed container in the fridge.

*as with the cucumber and mint recipe, the longer the jalapeno is in the syrup the more concentrated the flavour profile (and heat). You might want to try creating several different concentrations of this mixture and making a note of which is which – this way you can cater for different palates…

Whilst this mixture blends well with vodka (and surprisingly gin) it is best kept for the most obvious choice: Tequila. Try adding a little bit of this to your next shot of quality tequila. Try with Habanero’s or Cazadores Tequila should you have either in your possession…

So there you go! 4 rather brilliant, and yet rather different simple syrup recipes. They’re all a perfect with their own particular spirit(s) but all have room for a little versatility.

I hope you enjoy them, and if any are not quite to your tastes, feel free to tweak them. That’s the best way to improve them. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these recipes if you try them, especially any cocktails you find them to particularly effective in…

Valentines cocktails: An Bitter Aftermath

So Valentines has been and gone, couples have loved and lost and there’s even been a rather infamous movie release (a favourite with the female audience more than the male I imagine) but sometimes valentines does not always work out for everyone so below is a cocktail specifically created for the aftermath of a bad valentines day. Whether it was the breakups to end all break ups or just simply a poor first date this cocktail will help you suck it up and move on. Or realise what went wrong and correct it… Either way enjoy the cocktail and and chin up!

A Shot to the Heart

Recipe:

1-3 slices Jalapeno

1.5 measures Campari

1.5 measures Cold Coffee

Bitter and refreshing, this cocktail is sure to perk you up...
Bitter and refreshing, this cocktail is sure to perk you up…

Method:

  • Shake all of the ingredients well, over ice (shake for around 5-10 seconds, or until the tin ices over).
  • Double strain into a small rocks glass with fresh ice.
  • Garnish with a thin slice of lemon peel and another slice of Jalapeno pepper.

This cocktail was originally created and shared for a twist on the same old valentines cocktails. It was meant as a take on how sometimes this time of year can be a bitter pill to swallow for obvious reasons.

However I feel the cocktail itself is pretty darn good in its own right. It blends bitter Campari with refreshingly cold coffee and, in a move that shouldn’t work but does; it also has a subtle hint of spice, from the Jalapeno, running through it! This might sound like a match made in hell but assuming you like all three ingredients this drink really is something you can sink your teeth into, it’s a little different which will look good when preparing it for your friends.

One final thing to mention is that the spice scale can be tweaked for those who, like me, have an adversity to too much spice. Simply use 1 slice per spice level (1 for a slight tingle, 2 for a slight tingle followed by a small burst of intense heat and, finally, use 3 slices for an intense heat wave that will build up as you sip (especially with the garnish floating about).

Bitter-Sweet Valentines day? Then knock this cocktail back and forget all about it...
Bitter-Sweet Valentines day? Then knock this cocktail back and forget all about it…

So for those of you with a passion for spice and coffee then this cocktail could be your new sipper and even if you’re not a fan it could still be a hit for one of our spice loving friends…