Back in October I was invited to be part of a panel tasting syrups for Imbibe magazine, for a piece which ran in the November issue. There was a lot of talk from the bartenders around the table about how much better homemade syrups are than those available commercially and they’re so right. I know I have the luxury of having a kitchen next door to my drinking room and only need to produce a small amount of any one syrup to satisfy my home drinking needs, but it makes me wonder why more people aren’t making their own?
Now I have been making syrups for use at home for a couple of years and am of the opinion that the results far outweigh the small amount of effort involved, so when a couple of friends came to stay over the weekend and expressed an interest in my homemade ingredients I saw a perfect excuse to get out the saucepans and sugar, grab a few ingredients and do an impromptu ‘master class’ on making your own sweeteners.
Simon and Caro are regular guests at maison b&t and I’ve successfully managed to encourage them to shake and stir their own cocktais at home, furnishing them with tools and books here and there; but even so, I was surprised at how quickly they grasped the idea of syrups and how inspired they to start creating their own flavours. I guess that it was an easy concept for them to grasp because they’re food lovers, so my gut feel that making homemade syrups and infusions might be a good stepping stone to get foodies thinking seriously about making cocktails at home, proved to be right.