It’s spring, and the fruit is starting to go on sale at Albertson’s and Safeway. What to do with those bruised or otherwise less-than-perfect pieces? Why, prepare them for use in your favorite springtime cocktails, of course! Fruit-flavored syrups are easy to make and instantly turn the same old gin and tonic into something extraordinary. They’re also widely applicable: mix them with soda water for an Italin soda, blend with yogurt for an instant smoothie, or get creative in your baking and use them to flavor cakes and frostings. Let’s get started, shall we?….
Basic Fruit Syrup
1 cup chopped fruit (could also use fresh mint leaves for mint syrup)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Cook fruit with sugar and water until thick in a small saucepan over medium heat. Smash fruit while cooking. For thinner syrup, push through a sieve after cooling. Store in refrigerator.
And here’s an easy drink to make with your new syrup:
Makes 1 drink
3/4 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. mango syrup
2 oz. orange juice
1 1/2 oz. tequila
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with plenty of ice; blend thoroughly and strain into a collins glass over ice. Garnish with a slice of fruit of your choice if preferred.