Several weeks ago, our basil and sage plants were going nuts. I had already made lots of pesto, so I decided to do a little something different to use them up: herbal simple syrups. This turned out to be a very good and very easy solution to having too many herbs on hand.
Simple syrups are easy: one cup of water to a half cup of sugar, warmed until the sugar dissolves, and then cooled and refrigerated. Herbal simple syrups aren’t much more complicated – you just add a half cup of fresh herbs to the concoction and simmer them for a bit longer.
So I made a lime basil version and a sage version. I used local honey instead of sugar just to avoid sugar and because you don’t have to use as much honey as sugar in recipes. Grant will be back later with some delicious drink concoctions, but, in the meantime, you should make some simple syrups so they’re ready for a weekend cocktail.
- 1 lime, sliced
- 1/2 cup (large handful) of basil* leaves, torn or chopped roughly
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of sage leaves
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup water
- Bring the water, herbs, and lime (if using) to a low boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, and let simmer for 30 minutes or so.
- I like to strain out the herbs (and lime) and then add the honey so I don't lose any honey on the herbs.
- Add the honey while the liquid is still warm and stir thoroughly.
- Once cooled, pour the concoction into the glass container of your choice and refrigerate.
- The syrup should last about a month in the fridge.
A sarabytheseason original.
*Alternately, you can use lime basil, which is a tasty herb to have on hand for Asian-inspired dishes. If you have lime basil, just leave out the lime.