Inspired by Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s tonic syrup recipe, which I’ve made and enjoyed on several occasions, I created some flavorful syrup suitable for winter mixing. To me, the spices of Thanksgiving and Christmas speak of cold snow and warm fires. A few years ago, they also invoked hot cocoa and warm apple cider, but these days my tastes run a bit stiffer.
Here, then, I present a recipe for “winter syrup”, as well as a few ways to use it. If you have other recipes, please leave them in the comments.
0.25C whole allspice berries
0.25C whole cloves
2 whole cinnamon sticks
1T whole cardamon pods
2 nugmeg seeds, crushed
Freshly extracted seeds of one whole vanilla bean
1T dried orange peel
0.25C fresh lemongrass, chopped
Combine all spices and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and strain – I use a french press but feel free to substitute some other fairly fine strainer that you have available.
Return to heat in a clean pan and stir in 1.5C raw agave nectar. Remove from heat, and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.
It took a while to find the right mix for this strongly-scented and flavored syrup, but the following two seem to be working well:
4:2:1 brandy:irish cream:winter syrup, hot
4:1 brandy:winter syrup, hot
Presidente brandy seems to blend well with the flavors of the syrup. Enjoy!