I love fizzy drinks, even if it’s just sparkling water. I think it’s so nice, how when you order a coffee in Europe, they’ll always (okay, not always, but usually) serve it alongside some sparkling water. Sparkling water has the added punch of fizzy little bubbles and bubbles are just so cheerful. Even better than sparkling water though, is sparkling water with flavoured homemade syrup. One of my favourites is a super herbal and refreshing mint-lemongrass simple syrup.
Essentially, simple syrup is a one-to-one ratio of two things: sugar and water. It’s simple in both preparation and ingredient list – simply stir sugar into hot water until the sugar is dissolved. It’s mainly used in cocktails or iced coffee, where it’s handy to already have the sugar dissolved. To flavour simple syrups, you can go two ways: you can infuse flavour while heating the syrup, or you can steep while the syrup is cooling down.
I did a one-two punch with this lemongrass mint syrup. The lemongrass (which holds up extremely well to heat) was added to the pot while the sugar and water were brought to a boil and then the mint (which is quite delicate) was added in after the syrup was taken off the heat. The result? A slightly spicy, herbaceous, refreshing syrup. You can add it to iced tea, sparkling water or even plain water if bubbles aren’t your thing. In the words of Martha: it’s a good thing.
Lemongrass Mint Lime Spritzer Recipe
makes about 2 cups lemongrass mint syrup
- 2 stalks of lemongrass
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
- sparkling water
- lime slices and mint to garnish
Trim the tops and bottoms off of the lemongrass and remove the tough outer leaves until you reach the pale interior. Chop into 2 inch pieces and bruise the pieces using a rolling pin or whatever heavy blunt object you have handy. Add the water, sugar and lemongrass to a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat then remove from the heat. Add the mint leaves and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain out the mint and lemongrass. Cool and store in a airtight jar until needed. To make the spritzer, place some ice in a glass and add a tablespoon or two of syrup, or to taste. Top with sparkling water, lime slices and mint leaves to garnish. Of course, if you’d like to indulge a bit, feel free to top this off with a splash (or two) of gin and reduce the sparkling water.