Winter Herb Syrup

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About This Syrup

You’ve probably tried simple herb syrups before, but when you mix three of the most potent evergreen herbs, you get one that lends an explosion of flavor to any drink.

I made this syrup for the first time to use in a cocktail called the Winter Mojito that we adapted from the book Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails by the editors of PUNCH. The original recipe recommended making this syrup on a stovetop, but I opted to make ours using the sous vide method for better texture. Find instructions and recommended tools to make it at home below.

Syrup Ingredients

To make this syrup, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Rosemary: This is an evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean region. I used fresh rosemary from our herb garden for maximum flavor.

Thyme: This is another evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean region. I used fresh thyme from our herb garden for maximum flavor.

Sage: This is also an evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean region. I used fresh sage leaves from our herb garden for maximum flavor.

White Sugar: This is a sweetener. All simple syrups are essentially made with a sugar and a liquid and then dressed up with other ingredients. For this one, I used a generic white sugar from our local grocery store.

Gum Arabic Powder: This is a thickener that will give the syrup a more pleasing mouthfeel. I have yet to find this in-store and usually buy it online.

Water: This turns the syrup into a liquid. I prefer to use filtered water to prevent contamination.

How to Make This Syrup

When making syrups most recipes will tell you to do so on the stovetop, but I prefer to prepare ours using the sous vide method, which was first introduced to me when reading Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails. I’ve found that syrups made in a saucepan are often too thick and sticky to use in cocktails, especially ones made with fruit juices. Now I use an immersion circulator for almost all of our syrups instead. It does take quite a bit longer, but the vast improvement in taste and texture this method provides makes it worth the extra time.

To make this syrup using the sous vide method, you’ll need the following tools:

Immersion Circulator: This is an electric device that is partially submerged in liquid to circulate it, heat it, and keep it at a stable temperature for precision cooking. I use the Instant Pot Accu Slim Immersion Circulator because it heats up the water quickly and is affordable.

Food Scale: This is used to precisely measure out the ingredients for the syrup. I use the GDEALER Food Scale because it gives me extremely accurate measurements and is compact, which makes it very easy to store.

Large Pot: This is filled with water before the immersion circulator and bag filled with syrup ingredients are placed inside to cook.

Large Freezer Bag: This is used to hold the syrup ingredients when they are placed in the pot to cook. I use Ziploc Gallon Freezer Bags because they are made with a high quality material that can be reused.

Clips: These are used to securely attach the bag to the side of the pot so the top doesn’t sink below the water level. I use Romeda 3 ½-Inch Spring Clamps because they are small, secure, and versatile.

Fine Mesh Strainer: This is used to remove solid ingredients from the syrup during the transfer process. I use the Barfly Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Strainer because its tightly woven mesh is excellent for removing small seeds and pieces of fruit.

Funnel: This is used to transfer the syrup from the bag to the storage containers without making a mess. I prefer to use a small silicone funnel because that type is flexible and easy to store.

Squeeze Bottle: This is used to store the syrup in the refrigerator for immediate use. I prefer OXO Good Grips Squeeze Bottles because they are high quality.

Storage Pouch with Pouring Spout: This is used to store extra syrup in the freezer for later use.

How to Store This Syrup

Once the syrup is made, it will need to be kept cool to preserve its freshness. Whether it will be stored in the refrigerator or the freezer affects the type of container I use, and I make the decision on where to store it based on when I expect to use some or all of the syrup in cocktails.

Refrigerator Storage: I will usually store our syrups in the refrigerator when I plan to use them in a cocktail either right away or within a few days. If that’s the case, I will store some in a condiment squeeze bottle so I can easily pour the syrup into a jigger when I make the drink. It’s rare that I need all sixteen ounces right away though, so I often keep some in the refrigerator and will transfer the rest of the syrup to a pouch so it can be frozen and used later.

Freezer Storage: I will usually store our syrups in the freezer when I don’t think I will use them in a cocktail within a week. If that’s the case, I store them in pouches with pouring spouts because those are made with a flexible material that won’t come open as the syrup expands during the freezing process. I will then thaw the pouches in a bowl of water when I want to use the syrup again.

Flavored syrups like this one should last one to two weeks in the refrigerator and can last up to six months if frozen. I recommend listing the date the syrup was made before storing it so you can keep track of when batches should be used or discarded.

Recipe

This recipe yields approximately sixteen ounces of syrup, which is enough for anywhere from fifteen to thirty-five cocktails depending on the amount needed for the drink.

AuthorSips From ScriptsPrep Time2 hrs 15 minsRating

Ingredients
 2 Sprigs Rosemary
 4 Sprigs Thyme
 5 Sage Leaves
 200 g White Sugar
 25 g Gum Arabic Powder
 200 ml Hot Water

Method
1

Fill a large pot with hot water.

2

Place immersion circulator inside pot of water and set to 135°F.

3

Add white sugar and gum Arabic to a blender.

4

Blend for 2-3 minutes until ingredients are thoroughly combined.

5

Slowly pour 200 ml hot water into blender and blend until sugar and powder are dissolved.

6

Pour sugar mixture into a sealable freezer bag.

7

Add rosemary, thyme, and sage to bag and stir for 3-5 seconds.

8

Once the water has heated to 135°F, seal the freezer bag, place it in the water while leaving the top 3-4 inches of the bag outside of the water, and secure the top of the bag to the side of the pot with clips.

9

Let syrup cook in the pot at 135°F for 2 hours.

10

Once cooked, place the bag into an ice bath to shock the syrup, then let cool.

11

Strain syrup through a fine mesh strainer 1-2 times to remove any loose herb leaves and steam.

12

Pour syrup into a squeeze bottle or pouch with spout using a funnel, then refrigerate or freeze.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 Sprigs Rosemary
 4 Sprigs Thyme
 5 Sage Leaves
 200 g White Sugar
 25 g Gum Arabic Powder
 200 ml Hot Water

Directions

Method
1

Fill a large pot with hot water.

2

Place immersion circulator inside pot of water and set to 135°F.

3

Add white sugar and gum Arabic to a blender.

4

Blend for 2-3 minutes until ingredients are thoroughly combined.

5

Slowly pour 200 ml hot water into blender and blend until sugar and powder are dissolved.

6

Pour sugar mixture into a sealable freezer bag.

7

Add rosemary, thyme, and sage to bag and stir for 3-5 seconds.

8

Once the water has heated to 135°F, seal the freezer bag, place it in the water while leaving the top 3-4 inches of the bag outside of the water, and secure the top of the bag to the side of the pot with clips.

9

Let syrup cook in the pot at 135°F for 2 hours.

10

Once cooked, place the bag into an ice bath to shock the syrup, then let cool.

11

Strain syrup through a fine mesh strainer 1-2 times to remove any loose herb leaves and steam.

12

Pour syrup into a squeeze bottle or pouch with spout using a funnel, then refrigerate or freeze.

Winter Herb Syrup

Tools We Recommend

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Instant Accu Slim Sous Vide 800W Precision Cooker, Immersion Circulator, From the Makers of Instant Pot, Ultra-Quiet Fast-Heating with Big Touchscreen Accurate Temperature and Time Control, Waterproof
Instant Accu Slim Sous Vide 800W Precision Cooker, Immersion Circulator, From the Makers of Instant Pot, Ultra-Quiet Fast-Heating with Big Touchscreen Accurate Temperature and Time Control, Waterproof
EVEN COOKING: Circulates heated water uniformly, with no hot or cold spots; QUICK CLAMP: Easily clamp the Accu Slim Sous to a cooking vessel with one hand
$69.95
Cuisinart 76610-26G Chef's Classic 10-Quart Stockpot with Glass Cover,Brushed Stainless
Cuisinart 76610-26G Chef’s Classic 10-Quart Stockpot with Glass Cover,Brushed Stainless
Mirror Finish; Stainless Interior and Exterior; Riveted Comfortable, Stainless Side Handles
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Cuisinart SPB-7CH SmartPower 40-Ounce 7-Speed Electronic Bar Blender, Chrome
Cuisinart SPB-7CH SmartPower 40-Ounce 7-Speed Electronic Bar Blender, Chrome
Perfect for blending, pureeing, mixing, liquefying and stirring; 7-speed touch pad control with easy-to-read indicator lights
$67.64
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Ziploc Two Gallon Food Storage Freezer Bags, Grip 'n Seal Technology for Easier Grip, Open, and Close, 10 Count, Pack of 3 (30 Total Bags)
Ziploc Two Gallon Food Storage Freezer Bags, Grip ‘n Seal Technology for Easier Grip, Open, and Close, 10 Count, Pack of 3 (30 Total Bags)
Designed to help protect from freezer burn; Perfect for storing fresh food items (e.g. meat or fish) in the fridge or freezer
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OXO Good Grips Chef’s Squeeze Bottle Set
OXO Good Grips Chef’s Squeeze Bottle Set
Set consists of medium bottle and large bottle with one thick tip and one thin tip; Unique attached cap stays open while you squeeze for a precise pour
$11.95

More Syrup Recipes

If you like this syrup, here are a few others we make and use in our cocktails that you may enjoy:

Ginger Syrup Recipe for Cocktails

Ginger Syrup: A sous vide syrup made with fresh ginger, white sugar, water, and gum Arabic powder

Blueberry Syrup Recipe for Cocktails

Blueberry Syrup: A sous vide syrup made with fresh blueberries, white sugar, gum Arabic powder, citric acid, and water

Salted Sage Syrup Recipe for Cocktails

Salted Sage Syrup: A stovetop syrup made with fresh sage, sea salt, white sugar, and water

Cranberry Syrup Recipe for Cocktails

Cranberry Syrup: A sous vide syrup made with fresh cranberries, cane sugar, citric acid, and water

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