Black Peppercorn Syrup
3 cups water
1/2 ounce [1 tablespoon] Whole Black Peppercorns
1.5 ounces [3 tablespoons] Crushed Black Peppercorns
1 to 2 ounces Turbinado Sugar [to taste]
1 oz Vodka or Rum (to lengthen shelf life)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
Place four or five peppercorns at a time on a cutting board, and with the blade of a large knife, crush the peppercorns. Continue crushing whole black peppercorns until you have 1.5 ounces (3 tablespoons). Mix the crushed peppercorns with 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) whole black peppercorns.
Bring water to a boil in a small to medium saucepan. Add peppercorns. Bring temperature down to a gentle simmer and allow the mixture to cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from heat, but allow the peppercorns to remain in the water while the mixture comes down to room temperature.
When pot is cool to the touch, strain peppercorns and discard the solids. Return the water to a saucepan. You should have at least 1.25 cups of peppercorn-water after straining; nearly 2 cups of liquid are lost during the cooking process. This yields a reduced, concentrated brew.
After straining out the peppercorn solids, slowly bring the peppercorn-infused water to a gentle simmer. Add 1 ounce of Turbinado sugar (by one ounce, I mean fill a one ounce cocktail jigger with sugar). Immediately remove the pot from heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Taste. Add more if you want a sweeter syrup.
Once the syrup has cooled to room temperature, add 1 oz Vodka or Rum and 1/2 oz Lemon Juice to preserve the syrup’s shelf life. If you do not add lemon/lime (citric acid) or any alcohol to the syrup, it will begin to mold after a few weeks.
Yields: 1 cup of syrup
If you’re feeling adventurous and craving something exotic, this spicy syrup will certainly add heat to your cocktail. We like it with strawberry or grapefruit cocktails. Try a Dalmation and see where the evening takes you . . .
Drink to good health!