Simple syrups are a great way to add a bit of complexity, flavor, or tone to a cocktail. Think of them as similar to adding a dash of salt or pepper to a meal to kick up the flavor. OK, maybe not salt so much in a drink, though as a rim it’s an excellent additive, but pepper can find its way into a complex tango when added into cocktail. The heat, the spice, the earthiness, all can add to the total experience of a drink.
Peppercorn Simple Syrup
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
½ tbsp. whole black peppercorns
½ tbsp. cracked black peppercorns
– combine ingredients in a medium sauce pan, stirring until sugar dissolves
– bring mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer
– simmer for 20 minutes, then remove from heat and let the mixture cool
– strain peppercorns out of mixture
**stores in fridge for 2 weeks**
Just like pepper by itself, this simple syrup is an assault on the senses. While you may not sneeze in the same way, sipping it directly will assuredly result in that same itching/burning phantom sneeze in your sinus effect. Don’t ask me why I know this; let’s just say be sure to label the cups of apple juice and black peppercorn simple syrup you leave in the fridge. However, when combined in the right proportions with a complimentary cocktail (maybe one with a bacon infusion spirit), produces a lovely pinch of heat that leaves the palate longing for more. Try a dash of it in a simple [gin] martini to get the true effect. Delicious!