Rosemary syrup

by Cari Balbo


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've missed green! This winter has been a long one.

I've missed green! This winter has been a long one.

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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.

 Rosemary syrup is perfect for a gray day like today

Rosemary syrup is perfect for a gray day like today

  Close up. Does this count as a selfie?

Close up. Does this count as a selfie?

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.

 Switchel is an old-timey drink that uses vinegar and a sweetener as prominent ingredients

Switchel is an old-timey drink that uses vinegar and a sweetener as prominent ingredients

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.

 Rosemary bathing in brandy

Rosemary bathing in brandy

 Rosemary potions

Rosemary potions

- Cari