From Kitchen To Glass: Craft Six Unique Cocktail Syrups Out Of Food Scraps
If you enjoy experimenting with different foods and recipes in the kitchen, you are undoubtedly familiar with the huge amounts of veggie and fruit peel scraps that are generated every day. While turning this into compost is a wonderful way to nurture your home garden, there are other ways to make use of food scraps, which are slightly more innovative.
One of these is to turn your veggie and fruit peels or other waste into syrups that can be used to craft cocktails. These syrups have a rather unique and eclectic flavour profile which introduces lots of depth, aroma and complexity into seasonal drinks. The concoctions are easy to make and only require you to adjust the proportion of sugar and water to extract the maximum essence out of the scraps.
Here are six such syrups you can concoct using food scraps that become a sustainable way to craft some uniquely flavoured cocktail mixes:
If you want to turn your pineapple scraps and rinds into a kombucha-like drink, you can craft a tangy and spiky tepache or a rich cordial that is a wonderfully refreshing addition to your summer drinks. You can make tepache as a mixer for tropical cocktails by fermenting pineapple scraps, sugar and aromatics. This classic Mexican drink uses the rinds of this fruit as natural yeast so you can craft a cordial without any additives. Use this as a citrus bitter to add to a bourbon or whisky cocktail for a flavour punch.
When you have tons of ripe fruits or their pulps leftover that are dreading to be thrown out, save them from this unfateful occurrence! After juicing fleshy fruits like apples, melons, pineapples and other citruses, save all their pulps and mix them together. Create a syrup by blitzing this mix fruit pulp in hot water and strain using a sieve. Add sugar proportionately into the syrup and refrigerate it for a while before using the infusion in summer cocktails.
Banana Peel Syrup
Bananas are almost a kitchen staple in most homes but what if there was a way to save their peels and turn them into a distinct syrup full of the fruit’s flavours? Dice banana peels and stir in some sugar, before storing this mix overnight. As the sugar extracts water from the peels, it will be possible to see the syrup taking shape as a dark liquid. You can then blitz and strain this pulpy concoction and use it to add depth to your cocktails.
Dehydrated Herb Syrup
While dehydrated herbs and stems can act as a wonderful garnish, you can also make aromatics out of them by introducing their flavours into a classic sugar syrup. Dehydrated mint, rosemary and thyme sprigs as well as fruit peels and rinds can be doused in sugar before adding them to a syrup to give it a whiff of a strong, umami depth. You can use this herby syrup in measured quantities to bring complexity into your drinks.
From savoury to sweet, leftover kitchen ingredients are excellent as infusions. Coffee powder can be added to gin for an espresso negroni and orange peels to vodka for their bitter note. But you can also add these peels to larger volumes of a spirit and store it for some time so that its flavours ooze into the drink, crafting a unique syrup or liqueur that can be added as a fellow ingredient to a cocktail recipe. Such a mix of vodka or whisky infused with rinds creates interesting mixology opportunities for the budding bartender.
Coffee And Fruit Infused Simple Syrup
Out of all the different variations that can be concocted to alter simple syrup, a coffee infusion is one of the finest. Use leftover coffee grounds and mix them with water and sugar before bringing it all to a boil. Store for a while and strain well. You can also add some fruit scraps into this recipe to infuse your simple syrup with inviting citrus notes that go really well with coffee.