Thursday, June 28, 2012
There is a song that came out when I was in college called that. It was about people drinking cough syrup to catch a buzz. This post is not about that (sorry to disappoint). I’m all for freedom of expression but I can’t say I would advocate drinking Nyquil to get crunk. That just sounds...unpleasant. That song, however, always made me giggle and forever changed me in that I cannot read, see or think the word “syrup” without nodding my head slightly and rapping “sip sip sippin’ on some syzzurp.” It’s an affliction I’ll live with the rest of my life.
Cherries have been everywhere lately and they are cheap and ripe and ready to go. I find them hard to resist because they are so cute. So naturally I found myself with a big satchel of cherries but without the spare time or inclination to pit a mother lode of them in order to make a pie, crumble or cobbler. I wanted to do something that was, by its very definition, simple. A Sweet Cherry Simple Syrup to be used drizzled on top of ice cream, as the base for boozy cherry lemonade, in homemade popsicles or for any other host of seasonally appropriate uses. I found the finished product delicious- if a bit too sweet to be used over (already sweet) ice cream, but perfect for mixing up fizzy, summery cocktails and mocktails with
SWEET CHERRY SIMPLE SYRUP
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cup cherries, pitted
Juice from one lemon
2 inch piece lemon zest
Bring water and sugar to a boil over high heat and stir gently, letting boil until clear (this happens relatively quickly so stay nearby). Reduce heat to low, add cherries, lemon juice and lemon peel. Bring to a low simmer and let cook for about 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat. Let cool a bit and puree with an immersion blender or by pouring the whole mix into a food processor or blender. Let the chunky syrup sit at room temperature until completely cooled. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a jar or glass. Store in the fridge. Makes about 1 ½ cups Cherry Syrup.
When I was speaking with a coworker about cherries the other day he said he didn’t like them because they have such a strong flavor connection to cough syrup. But for me, when I think “cherry” and “cough” I don’t think about syzzurp per se, but that delicious candy-disguised-as-medicinal-aid known as Loudon’s Cough Drops. When I was little and I had a sore throat if my mom bought me Loudon’s I would snarf down the whole box before I even had so much as a tickle. They were so good. As I drained this here mocktail (which could easily be turned into a grown up drink) today the sweet cherry flavor reminded me of those delicious, if useless, faux British drops of my childhood. I think I feel a sore throat coming on, I may have to go buy a box to snack on, er, sooth my throat. Or maybe I’ll just grab another ice cold Loudon’s Fizz.
1-2 tsp. Sweet Cherry Simple Syrup
Juice from half a lemon
1 can lemon flavored seltzer
Lemon slices and frozen cherries (optional)
Pour Cherry Syrup over ice; add the lemon juice and garnishes, if using. Fill glass to brim with seltzer. Stir together gently and enjoy immediately.
Citron vodka would be amazing in this. Or forgo the whole can of seltzer, fill the glass half full with Prosecco or Cava and top off with seltzer. I’m planning on using the remainder of my syrup in a wine-based punch for 4th of July. Look out for that recipe sometime next week.