The anise hyssop we received from our seedy penpals seed swap has been thriving. Being an edible plant it was suggested we turn it into drink. Rather than deploy our usual trick of stuffing leaves in booze and waiting a few months, we’ve started off with a simple syrup and, in turn, have used this to flavour a sweet summer cocktail.
Anise hyssop produces flavours akin to its alternative name ‘licorice mint’ which will give an interesting twist to cocktail recipes that call for mint syrup. Making the syrup is easy – gently heat 250ml water with 250ml sugar and a small bunch of hyssop leaves (20 to 25 should do it) until the sugar dissolves. Leave covered overnight, strain into a sterilised bottle and place in the fridge until ready to use.
Summer berry hiss
We’ve christened our first hyssop cocktail experiment ‘summer berry hiss’. It uses summer berries and emits a delicate licoricey hiss of hyssop. It’s also very sweet and sticky, but we thought better of working those characteristics into the name.
Anyrate, it goes like this…
Mix together 30ml vodka with 15ml limoncello and 30ml of your newly made anise hyssop syrup. To this add the freshly pressed juice of a clutch of summer berries – our first batch used a strawberry, three raspberries and three blackcurrants per serving. The fruit was pummelled in a blender then forced through a fine mesh. Other methods of obtaining juice are available.
We’re quite pleased with the results of this experiment, but would like to hear some more ideas of what to do with our newly made syrup. So, get syrupping and send us your suggestions…