Oh, my. I had such grand plans for herbal crafting. Well, I had grand plans for everything. But then I got sick and then my mental health needed a bit of attention and then traveling happened… Needless to say I’m way behind on my list of things I wanted to do and (and document for the blog). But I did one of the things on my list. I made a syrup. A herbal syrup.
I’ve been meaning to try to make syrups for a long time. And I guess I actually already do make them, since I make cough syrup every year. But I wanted to experiment a bit and expand my uses for it. Herbal syrups are great ways to take herbs that don’t taste so well on their own. The added sugar (or honey) also extends the shelve life of the infusions or decoctions you add to it. Opinions tend to differ a bit, but I think it’s safe to say that a 1:1 water/sugar ratio can be kept in a refridgerator for 6 months (ofcourse always discard if it looks or tastes wrong).
One of the herbs that grows best in my garden is Oregano di Korsou. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s not oregano at all. Its scientific name is Lippia Alba and it’s also known as juanilama, bushy matgrass, and poleo (among many other names). It helps with digestive problems and is also mildly calming (those two uses go together a lot, actually). It is used culinary too: it has a really nice lemony taste.
And because I have a lot of it (it grows like crazy in the part of the garden that is watered daily), I thought this would be a good herb to experiment with. Well, I already have – I’ve made teas, oils, tinctures and cleaning solutions with it. But never a syrup.
So that’s what I did.
(disclaimer: the following is not a tutorial, just what I did and boy, did I mess things up… But I thought it would be fun to document and share it anyway. So, you’re welcome to feel inspired, but please do your own research)
The recipe I found online said I needed 50 grams of dried herb to add to 600 ml water. Yeah, well, that didn’t work for me. I ended up using 30 grams of dried herb in a whole liter of water, becasue 600 ml barely made it wet.
Lesson for next time: don’t go blindly on instructions. Think for yourself (I usually do that, but this was the first day of being sick and I thought I just needed to stop whining and get on with it – I was wrong, I needed rest and plenty of it.)
Anyway… I brought the water to a boil and let it cook on high for 10 minutes. Oops. I meant to turn it down to low, but somehow forgot to do that. It think it’s more common to let it simmer. But I did reduce the water to half of what I started with and that’s what they say you need to do.
So at that point I had 500 ml decoction and that calls for 500 grams of sugar. I wanted to make this with monk fruit sugar, but 500 grams of that stuff is very expensive. So I opted for normal sugar. Technically monk fruit is bad for me too, so maybe I just shouldn’t even bother buying it. But that’s besides the point.
I ended up with two bottles of syrup. I love how it looks. Such a beautiful color. I had a tiny taste and oh wow. That’s so good. I think it will be really nice on ice cream or in sodawater. Or on cake? Endless possibilities.
4 thoughts on “Syrup making”
You’ve inspired me. Maybe this year I’ll make lemon balm syrup to add to teas.
That’s a great idea!
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Oh, syrup, I wish I had the knack for making them, but I guess it’s all in what you feel competent at. Glad you are back home and settling in. Take care of yourself!
Well, I messed things up quite a bit, so I’m not sure I’m competent 😉
Thanks, I’ll try!