A generous colleague with rosemary growing in his greenhouse gave me several fresh sprigs. Some are even flowering. So lovely! I remember being in Seattle and being so jealous of all their flowering rosemary, growing like weeds everywhere. Will definitely plan to include rosemary in our future greenhouse planning.
I wanted to make rosemary simple syrup with some of the rosemary. Herbal syrups are a favorite way to enjoy and benefit from herbs. They make for a tasty homemade soda or a good cocktail mixer.
I infused the 1:1 (water to sugar) mixture with the rosemary for about 5 hours over very low active heat and another 8 or so steeping. It was a long time but I wanted a strong rosemary flavor and to extract as much benefit as possible. I was also light-handed with the amount of rosemary I used because I didn't want to use up my gift in this syrup alone.
Here's the finished syrup below. It's a rich color and has a relatively strong aroma. I think the 1:1 ratio makes a really sweet syrup. Next time I'll use less sugar, but it might not keep as long. Which doesn't matter so much because it's not going to last very long around here. Mixed with soda water (about 1 tbsp syrup water to a cup of water) it's light and refreshing and will likely get used quickly.
I took it a step farther and mixed 2 tbsp syrup with a cup of water and a liberal splash of apple cider vinegar. The result is a sweet, tangy sipping drink. Rosemary switchel.
After draining the syrup, I took the sugar water-coated rosemary springs, stuffed them in a pint jar and covered with 1 cup of brandy. I'll let the rosemary and sugar infuse in the brandy for a few weeks, shaking occasionally. I'll drink this infused brandy some evening in the future and remember today's rosemary experiments.