The possibilities with simple syrup are endless. Equal parts water and sugar is the standard ratio, but you can also do a 1:2 water to sugar ratio for a more viscous mocktail. Steeping herbs and teas in simple syrup creates the basis for hundreds of possible variations for mocktails or cocktails. We have provided a few ideas here, but don’t be afraid to experiment with whatever is growing in the garden. You can also try combining syrups and serving them with various seltzers or ginger beer.
Lavender Basil Syrup
Syrup (Makes 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lavender flower buds
- 1 cup fresh basil
Mocktail (makes 4)
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1/2 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 3/4 cup lavender basil syrup
- 1 1/2 cups soda water
- Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, frequently stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat, add lavender, and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add basil, and cover and steep for30 minutes. Strain out basil and lavender; save and store the liquid in the refrigerator for up to a month.
- In a medium-size pitcher, add the blueberries and lemon juice and muddle together until juices are released. Stir in simple syrup. Add 2 cups of ice and the soda water, and stir thoroughly. Pour into glasses with ice, and garnish with blueberries, lemon, and basil.
- In a shaker with ice, combine 2 ounces gin, 1 ounce simple syrup, 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth, and 3/4 ounce lemon juice. Pour into a glass over ice and garnish with lemon peel and lavender sprig.
Carrot Lemon Syrup
Syrup (makes 2 cups)
- 1 1/3 cups carrots grated
- 5 lemons juiced
- 1 orange juiced
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- In a Mason jar, stir together the carrot, lemon juice, orange juice, and sugar. Steep in the fridge for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours, occasionally stirring or shaking to dissolve the sugar. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a large jug to separate the pulp. After separating, save the grated carrots to use in your favorite carrot cake recipe.
- Pour 1 1/2 ounces of the carrot mixture into a glass, add ice, then top with 4 ounces of sparkling water.
- Spike it: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 2 ounces of whiskey with 4 ounces of carrot lemon syrup. Shake and pour over ice into a whiskey glass. Garnish with a lemon peel or wedge.
Art of Flying Earl Grey Simple Syrup
Syrup (makes 1 cup)
- 1 cup turbinado raw sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 teaspoons Earl Grey we use tea.o.graphy’s Art of Flying Earl Grey
Mocktail (makes 4)
- 1 ounce Earl Grey syrup
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 4 ounces grapefruit juice freshly squeezed
- Seltzer water
- Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, frequently stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and add loose tea. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain through a coffee filter–lined sieve into a jar. Refrigerate for up to a month.
- Fill a highball glass with crushed ice. Pour in Earl Grey syrup, lemon juice, and grapefruit juice. Top with 3–4 ounces seltzer water. Gently stir to combine, and serve.
- In a shaker with ice, combine 1 ounce gin, 3/4 ounce lemon juice, and 1/2 ounce Earl Grey syrup. Strain the liquid into champagne flute and top with dry champagne or prosecco. Garnish with a lemon twist.