Saturday, July 20, 2013

Honey-Orange-Mint-Herbal syrup

~15 min prep + 2 days to steep

My Orange mint crop was starting to get out of control due to a recent influx of precipitation. So I decided to make an herbal syrup to flavor my drinks since I enjoy it in my tea so much already.
  • approx 3 Tbsp orange mint leaves
  • one organic orange 
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
Many syrup recipes call for heating of the herbs to draw out their flavors, but I found a post on the yummy life (http://www.theyummylife.com/Fruit_Herb_Honey_Syrups) discussing the benefits of using a no cook method. Even though it is quicker, boiling the plant ingredients can destroy beneficial nutrients. So I opted for the slower but no cook method. There is also a very nice post on healthy green kitchen outlining the basics of simple syrup making (http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com/ginger-lemongrass-simple-syrup.html). Most syrups are made with equal parts sugar and water. Increasing the amount of sugar to two parts will also make the syrup shelf stable apparently. So I set out with the intention to combine this knowledge to create my own recipe. This syrup has a refreshingly sweet taste that I found very nice to enjoy after being outside in the summer heat. I simply mixed it into cold or carbonated water for an afternoon treat.


-Warm water on the stove top and dissolve the sugar in it. Set aside and let cool. 
-Zest a tsp of rind from the orange into a mason jar. 
-Cut the orange in half. Now give it a quick squeeze to add some of its juice to the jar and then stuff the whole fruit in as well. 
-Add the honey and shredded mint leaves to the jar. 
-Once the water and sugar are cool add the liquid to the jar as well. 
-Close and shake. Refrigerate for two days.
Finally strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer (I use my tea strainer) to remove organic material. Now you are ready to enjoy it! 
Add one tablespoon to 8 oz of cold water for a refreshing drink. 
Keeps for about a month refrigerated. This recipe is not shelf stable!
Simply throw this in your refrigerator for a few days.

Then strain and enjoy in any drink!
Along with butterflies...