Saturday, December 1, 2012

Simple Syrup with Sorrel or Hibiscus

Simple syrups are fun, economical and easy to make, they are basically just equal parts sugar and water boiled together. But you can make different variations and they can be used in endless ways – as an infusion in cold beverages and cocktails, added to club soda, or poured over fruit salads, desserts, sno-cones or sorbets, or to moisten sponge cakes…....
This is my recipe for a simple syrup using sorrel. It’s a slightly different way to use sorrel this Christmas from the traditional sorrel punch. If sorrel leaves are unavailable, you may be able to find dried hibiscus leaves instead. Just make sure they are a food-grade variety, preferably organic.
Simple Syrup with Sorrel:
Here’s what you will need:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
3 to 4 teaspoons dried sorrel leaves (or dried hibiscus leaves)
Approx. one teaspoon lime juice (or lemon juice)
Medium-sized saucepan
Clean, air-tight container with well-sealed lid.
Combine the water and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the lime juice. Stir and bring to a boil. Then simmer on a reduced heat for about two minutes or until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has a slightly syrupy texture. . (Note: Do not allow the syrup to boil for too long or it will become too thick.) Add the sorrel leaves, allow to simmer about one minute more while stirring gently with a wooden spoon.
Remove from the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely. Strain into a clean glass bottle or jar with a well-sealed lid, discard the sorrel leaves. If you don’t have a bottle or jar, then any clean air-tight container should do.
Refrigerate for up to one week. You can also add one tablespoon of rum or vodka to help preserve the syrup even longer.

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