As I pondered what fresh herb recipe to post this week, I came upon a recipe for simple syrup (similar to the one included in my Iced Tea post) that is flavored with lemon peel. This made me wonder if it was possible to make a syrup infused with herbs to flavor iced tea or other beverages. I tried out two different syrups today, thyme and basil, and the results were delicious! The herbs left just a hint of flavor in the syrup but it was enough to lend a very distinctive flavor to iced tea. I also tried adding the syrup to some sparkling water to create kind of a homemade Italian soda and it was very unique and refreshing. These syrups are totally easy to make and would also be great for mixing cocktails; can’t wait to try that out! I would love to hear any other ideas readers have for using flavored syrups, other herbs or flavorings to try or any other fresh herb recipes you think I should try out.
Herb Infused Syrup
Makes about 1 cup of syrup
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh herbs such as basil, thyme or mint
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1. Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring gently a few times to combine. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to boil. Continue to boil for a few more minutes or until all the sugar has dissolved. Turn off heat and let syrup cool to room temperature.
2. Strain the cooled syrup through a fine mesh sieve into an airtight container. Use to sweeten iced tea, lemonade or other cold beverages. Will keep for a few weeks in a cool, dry place.
Thyme Lemon Soda
Makes 1 serving
1 Tablespoon Herb Infused syrup (recipe above)
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup chilled San Pellegrino or other sparkling water
For garnish (optional): strips of lemon peel, thinly sliced lemon or sprigs of herbs
1. Pour the syrup and lemon juice into a glass and stir with a spoon or small whisk to combine. Carefully add the sparkling water to the glass and stir gently with a spoon. Garnish as desired and drink immediately.