DIY Orange & Star Anise Simple Syrup
Of the arsenal of secret ingredients that a bartender has, one that he/she will keep going back to is the simple syrup. Simple syrup is truly simple; with just sugar and water as its ingredients what else would it be? As for its usage, simple syrups helps in balancing flavors of a drink. Think of a Mojito with no sweetness only lime tartness.
The syrup generally follows 2 proportions of sugar and water, 1:1 or 2:1 and generally it is processed sugar. You can also use demerara or raw sugar for a more rustic feel – be careful though, the syrup will be brown in color and will add that to your drink. We choose to use raw sugar based simple syrup because it adds texture and the warm brown tint that it adds to the drink.
Put a pan with the water on medium heat and add the sugar into it. Keep stirring till the sugar dissolves. Cool and bottle it up, your simple syrup is ready!
You can also spruce up your simple syrup by infusing flavors into the basic mixture. Our recent favorite is orange zest and star anise. If you love orange marmalade and spice-infused plum cakes, then this is syrup is just the thing for you. The flavors of the simple syrup work brilliantly with any dark spirit based cocktail – Old Fashioned is our first bet but we’ve successfully managed to spike our Mojitos with it as well.
Peels of 2 Oranges
Peel of 1 Lemon
(Ensure that there is no white pith remaining on the peels)
10 whole Star Anise
500 gms Raw Sugar
500 ml Water
Bring the water to a boil and add orange peels, lemon peels and star anise. Let the water sit for 2 hours.
Boil again, let the water cool a little and add the raw sugar and mix till it dissolves. Do not boil the water once sugar has been added.
Strain the syrup into a resealable bottle and keep in a cool dry place for future use.
Come and try experimental #BombayCocktailClub cocktails using Orange and Star Anise Simple Syrup at Ark Bar, Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai. Starting March 26, 2015, the special menu will be available at the bar for the entire month of April.