Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gourmet Homemade Gift: Peppermint Syrup

I like to have a martini, Two at the very most. After three I'm under the table, after four I'm under my host. – Dorothy Parker

Syrupy goodness for your next martini?

Here’s a quickie that you can make in less than 1/2 hour. I  had such success with the gingerbread syrup (see yesterday's post) that I thought this would make a good companion for it when gifting this season.

All you need is sugar, water and peppermint extract.
The drop of red food colouring is optional, but nice.
Syrups are multi-purpose. Not only do they add unexpected delight in a steaming cup of coffee or cocoa, but they also fit more than comfortably in martinis or other mixed drinks.

How you use it is limited only by your imagination.

Syrups are not cheap to purchase. Because of the cost many people just don’t bother to buy them. They’re a bit of a luxury.

So why not give a homemade luxury gourmet gift this Christmas? It’s sure to be appreciated, and can be done essentially at the last minute.

If you’ve already bought presents for everyone on your list, you could whip up some syrups to make your holiday parties oh-so-interesting. Think of the smiles on the faces of guests when offered a gingerbread or peppermint martini. 

They would be certain to bring out the caroller in just about anyone. Deck those halls!

If you want to make a peppermint martini, try this:
2 oz vanilla vodka
1/2 oz white crème de menthe
1/2 oz peppermint syrup
candy canes, crushed or whole
lime, optional
1/2 oz cream, optional

Shake the vodka, crème de menthe and syrup with ice in a martini shaker. If using the cream include it when you shake.

Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a whole candy cane. If you’re fancy, crush a couple candy canes in a mortar and pestle to make a powder. Wet the rim of the glass with lime and then dip in the candy cane powder.

Mmmmm, festive. And dangerous!

Peppermint Syrup
Cook: 20 min  |  Yield: 2 x 375 ml
3 cups water
2-3/4 cups white sugar
1 tbsp peppermint extract
1 drop red food colouring

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan.

Bring to a boil and let cook (without stirring) on full heat for 18-20 minutes. At the end of the time the temperature of  the liquid should be about 210°F.

Remove the pot from the heat, let cool slightly and then add the peppermint extract and food colouring.

Bottle and refrigerate.


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