Rated R Syrups: Water Replacement Syrups

Syrups are an important part of what makes a great Tiki drink. I’m always looking for new things to make syrup from and a whole shelf of my fridge here is littered with bottles of juice and syrup. Last time we talked cocktail syrup we talked infusions with simple syrup. Infusions are not the only way I’ve found to make a tasty syrup. Replacing the water in your simple with juice or other liquids can make a nice flavored syrup. Aside from the ingredients I make them the same way I do my infused syrups except without the four hour infusion time. Some of the syrups I make like the coffee and tea syrups I move into syrup making right after they are brewed nice and hot. Because they are already hot I heat them far less and stir them constantly just so they are combined and very lightly simmered. The special attention is so they don’t scorch.

Syrups5On the topic of grenadine which is probably the biggest water replacement syrup I make I’m not sure where I got the notion for my recipe. I’m sure I probably read the idea on some blog or site years ago. I know a lot of people use fresh pomegranate seeds and boil them in simple syrup for their grenadine. For me I chose the pom wonderful route both to save time and because it’s not always easy to find pomegranates year round in my town. If you wish to add more depth to a recipe I found a ¼ cup of dried Hibiscus added to the process and left to infuse is quite delightful. Be careful though it will affect the profile of a drink calling for normal grenadine. If you decide to use POM brand juice make sure you buy the purely pomegranate juice as they sell a lot of other blended juices and it’s not always easy to tell them apart. If you want to go the fresh pomegranate seed route Tiare has a bang up article here.


JFL’s Grenadine
1 cup sugar
1 cup pom wonderful 100% pomegranate juice
¼ cup of dried hibiscus flowers

Combine ingredients, including ingredients to be infused if applicable, in a small saucepan and stir often. Bring syrup to a boil then turn heat two low and allow to simmer for two minutes. Remove from heat and stir quickly, cover the pan to cool before bottling. If making an infused syrup allow the syrup to sit with the ingredients off the heat for four hours before straining and bottling.


Coffee Syrup is another thing I’ve a taste and passion for, there’s a lot of recipes out there but I think mine is simple and tasty. I use a cup of regular strength Cafe Bustello stove top espresso brewed in a moka pot. Then I combine that with an equal cup of sugar stirring frequently until it lightly simmers before immediately cooling and bottling. In the past I’ve made syrup with green tea in a similar fashion brewed from K cups because well, I had them lying around. Lately I’ve been thinking the syrup would benefit from a stronger more flavorful tea, I’ll keep playing and keep you posted.

JFL’s Method for Brewed Syrups
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh brewed coffee or tea

Once the brew is complete pour it fresh and hot into a saucepan. Add an equal measure of sugar and stir often over heat until a very light simmer is attained and the sugar is dissolved completely. Cool immediately and then bottle.

As a matter of odds and ends our coconut syrup counts as both a infusion and a water replacement like our hibiscus grenadine. Though it doesn’t quite fit in this category our passion fruit syrup is made just as Jeff Berry recommends by combining Goya passion fruit puree with an equal portion of simple syrup. I’ve recently tried this method to make other fruit syrups, though tamarind didn’t work out as I hoped. The passion fruit puree is very consistent which is why I faithfully choose this method over others. The fruits themselves vary to wildly in flavor to depend on. I hope you’ve enjoyed the continuation of our syrupy sweet sermons. Until next time…

“You Get Hammered America” – JFL

About JFL

Joey or JFL as he is known by friends is a culinary trained mixologist from the Heart of Dixie Birmingham, Alabama. From a weekly column in the St. Clair News Aegis to his own experiments online JFL never stops doing work on Tiki and Cocktails. When he's not studying all things spirit, wine, and beer he's pursuing his own odd interests such as cartoons, cheesy old horror movies, horror punk, hair metal, and hockey
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4 Responses to Rated R Syrups: Water Replacement Syrups

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