Apparently infusing is so hot right now and this does not surprise me even a little bit, as I have been infusing the hell out of both liquor and simple syrup for the past few months (it happened last summer, too).
Right now, in my kitchen, this trend is looking a little something like this:
"That" is simple syrup infused with lemon, mint and rosemary. Since it's the end of summer, I'm in a rush to use all of our herbs before they shrivel up and die - and drinking herbs always seems like a good idea.
Here's how I make it:
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- zest of 2 lemons (cut into big chunks)
- mint leaves from 3 sprigs
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar is dissolved (don't boil). Remove the pan from the heat and add the rosemary, lemon zest and mint leaves to the syrup. Let them steep until the syrup cools, then remove the mint leaves. (Mint is strong.) Place the rest in the refrigerator to chill for an hour or two (or a day or two).
Before using, strain the syrup to remove the zest and rosemary.
We use this to make a drink that is so refreshing, it's kind of dangerous. Fill a rocks glass with ice and add a shot of gin (or vodka, if you're into that sort of thing). Top with three tablespoons of syrup and one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, then fill the glass the rest of the way with selzer. Stir and prepare to be refreshed.
Speaking of selzer, it's become the hot secret ingredient around our house lately. Like bacon, it seems to make everything better.