Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Herb Harvesting In The Dark Or How I Finally Made Simple Syrups


Last night on Facebook I saw that my daughter had made basil simple syrup. It reminded me that I've been planning to make some simple syrups myself before the herbs were done for the year. The more I thought about it the more motivated I got so before I thought too much about it I grabbed a flashlight and went out to get some basil and lemon grass. I decided to make a batch with the licorice basil that I have not cooked with much as well as the Genovese. I haven't liked the texture of the licorice basil, especially raw in things like caprese. In no time at all I had cleaned about a cup each of the basils and the lemon grass. After cleaning the lemon grass I crushed the stems a bit to allow the flavor to permeate the syrup more easily. Each went into a separate pot and into each pot I added one cup of sugar and a half cup of water. I brought them to a boil and simmered them for a few minutes. I took them off the heat, let them sit for about 15 minutes and then strained them through a fine mesh tea strainer into half pint canning jars. This was a super simple (no pun intended) endeavor and the syrups smell fantastic! I think I'll try some with lemon verbena tonight.
I meant to do a better taste test to compare the basil syrups but decided one Lemon Basiltini on a work night was sufficient.

12 comments:

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Licorice basil sounds really good. I've never heard of it before. I've never made syrup. If it really is so easy, I might have to try that next year.

Nancy said...

I like cinammon basil... smells good too.

Carol said...

Gosh, that does sound simple. I wish I'd known about this before the frost killed off my basil.

flowergardengirl said...

I bet it's pretty too. I would like some sitting in my kitchen window. I really like home stuff like that.

Annie in Austin said...

Basil anything sounds good to me, Leslie - but I've never heard of this idea.

What do you do with the basil/herb simple syrups now that you have them?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Kathy said...

Do you actually can them or do they just keep in clean jars? It sounds like a good gift idea. I wonder how anise hyssop or lemon balm would work? Have you ever tried either of them?

Leslie said...

MMD...I thought it sounded good too. I just don't like the texture when it's raw.
Nancy...cinnamon basil sounds really good!
There's always next year Carol!
I think it needs to stay in the fridge, FGG. Info I've found says it keeps quite a while there.
Annie, I made a cocktail with vodka, lemon juice and the basil syrup and it was yummy! But I've heard you can put it over ice cream or other desserts too.
I've got anise hyssop Kathy...maybe I'll try some! I think if it's not out of the fridge more than a day it should be fine.

flowergardengirl said...

Oh thank you! The widget looks so good. The little kids will get boxes cause you did it!! Big hugs!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

So you use them to make alcoholic drinks like "lemon basiltini?" (Which sounds delicious, by the way!) Any other uses for the simple syrups? I'm intrigued...

Blackswamp_Girl said...

NM, I just read your note to Annie. :)

I wonder if you could use them too in some kind of a glaze? Like a lemon-basil glaze over lemon-lavendar cupcakes or something? Hmm...

Leslie said...

Oh Kim...that sounds yummy!

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

I might even be able to handle that kind of cooking! I've got teeny basil seedlings coming up in a pot. We'll see if they get to a usable size before a frost. They probably will. It could be 6 weeks, it could be 8. So I can sample a basiltini on a summer-like day!