Herbal Syrups

Use your fresh herbs to make your own herbal syrups


  • Equal portions of water and sugar
  • Fresh herbs, washed and dried, either left in sprigs or with stems removed

A medium-weight simple syrup, the best type for beverages, is made with a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. You may want to start out with 1 cup of each.

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The amount of herbs you’ll use depends on their intensity. For 1 cup of syrup, for example, a couple tablespoons of fresh lavender buds or a 3-inch sprig of rosemary will suffice, while you may add as much as a 1/2-cup of angelica or a whole cup of mint leaves.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately reduce heat so that it simmers gently. Add the herbs, stirring to push them under the surface. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, uncover, and let the mixture cool.
When the syrup has cooled, strain it one to three times through a fine sieve to remove herbs and get a clean syrup. Pour it into a sterilized, airtight bottle or jar. Store the syrup in the refrigerator for up to three months. 

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To use, start by adding herbal syrup 1 tablespoon at a time to 3/4 or 1 cup of beverage. Increase to taste.


Herbal Accompaniments
Herbs that make delicious simple syrups include:

  • Basil
  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Thyme
  • Lemon verbena
  • Marjoram
  • Sage
  • Chamomile
  • Angelica
  • Fennel
  • Tarragon
  • Bergamot
  • Sweet cicely
  • Lemon balm

Beverages that can benefit from the addition of an herbal syrup include:

  • Ginger ale
  • Sparkling or seltzer water
  • Champagne and other sparkling wines
  • Hot or iced tea: black, green, red, white or herbal
  • Lemonade and limeade
  • Martinis and other cocktails made with vodka or light rum
  • Unsweetened cranberry or pomegranate juice
  • Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

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