Flavored simple syrup is a must-have tool to beat summer’s heat. I’m partial to a ginger & mint combination; it is delicious as a sweetener for iced tea, lemon or limeade, or mixed with club soda, or drizzled over plain Greek yogurt, fruit sorbet, or even stirred into soymilk. Tasty possibilities abound: lemon-rosemary, lemongrass-pineapple or strawberry-basil….ginger and peach are a winning duo as well.
Ginger mint syrup
1 part water
2 parts sugar
1 3-4 inch long finger of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced (or try lemon peel, lemongrass stalks, or 3/4 cup diced fresh fruit)
4-6 branches of mint (or other herb)
Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan. Add sliced ginger and mint. Bring mixture to a low boil; simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain out solids; pour into a clean glass container and refrigerate. Syrup keeps for 3-4 weeks, though most herb flavors will fade in brightness and complexity after a few days. Plain ginger syrup retains its spicy punch for weeks.