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Jasmine tea syrup in a bottle SUGAR SYRUPS

Plain or differently flavoured sugar syrups are easy to make at home.

Besides being used to soak and moisten various cakes, pastries and other desserts, they can also be added to cocktails, drinks and hot beverages to sweeten and flavour them.

50 ml water
100 ml sugar
suggestions for flavouring ingredients:
  • piece of cinnamon stick, whole cloves, crushed cardamom, nutmeg, aniseed or other seeds and spices
  • 1 - 2 tsp (or to taste) vanilla sugar or dash of vanilla essence
  • dash of almond essence
  • 2 - 3 drops (or to taste) peppermint oil
  • 1 - 2 tbsp (or to taste) liqueur or flavoured spirits (berry, fruit, herbal, cocoa or coffee liqueur, cognac, brandy, rum, Swedish punsch, whiskey, etc)
  • freshly squeezed fruit juice, elderflower cordial, orange flower water, rose water, etc, to taste

Pour the water and the sugar in a small saucepan. If you are using whole (or crushed) spices or seeds, add them to the pan as well. Slowly bring the mixture to the boil, stirring every now and then, until the sugar has dissolved. Let the mixture boil for a few minutes, if you want it to be thicker.

Remove the saucepan from heat and either strain the syrup to remove the bits of spices boiled with it, or stir in the flavouring ingredient of your choice (eg vanilla sugar, essences, alcohols). If you are using alcohol and wish it to evaporate  —  at least most of it  —  let the spirits boil together with the syrup.

Depending on the dish, the syrup may be used hot or chilled. To soak items like babas, savarins, baklavas and cupcakes, syrup may be poured hot over them, while the pastries/cakes are still warm. Soft and delicate spongy cakes and pastries are usually soaked with chilled sugar syrup (eg sponge/pound cakes, filled cream/layer cakes, filled pastries, etc).

Store syrups refrigerated in sealed glass bottles and use within a week.

Recipe source: family recipes.


Jasmine tea syrup JASMINE TEA SYRUP

100 ml freshly brewed, hot jasmine tea
100 ml sugar

Mix the sugar and the hot tea. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Chill the syrup and use it to sweeten and flavour vodka or gin based cocktails and fruity, "floral" drinks or to moisten sponge cakes, layer cakes, etc.

Store the syrup refrigerated in a sealed glass bottle and use within a week. Instead of jasmine tea, you may use other flavoured teas of your choice.

Recipe source: from "Jade Garden" cocktail by Kevin Armstrong/Observer Food Monthly, May/2006.

Coffee syrup COFFEE SYRUP

100 ml freshly brewed, hot espresso coffee
100 ml sugar

Mix the sugar and the hot coffee. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Chill the syrup and use it to sweeten and flavour coffee-flavoured cocktails, milk shakes or other drinks or to moisten sponge cakes, layer cakes, etc.

The syrup may also be used in cooking and beverages as a non-alcoholic substitute for coffee liqueurs (Kahlúa, Tia Maria, etc).

Store the syrup refrigerated in a sealed glass bottle and use within a week.

Recipe source: adapted from "Jade Garden" cocktail by Kevin Armstrong/Observer Food Monthly, May/2006.


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