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PD: Herbal syrups.


You can make a lot of syrups with 15-20 people in a teaching kitchen over 2+3 days.

We made several syrups during the two recent product development thingies:

1. Spruce shoot syrup

400 g frozen fresh spruce shoots (Picea abies)
2 l water

Boil for 30 minutes, strain, let sit on low-low heat for 3-4 hours, measure. Add 450 g sugar to each 2 dl liquid ... don't let the sugar dissolve in too hot a kettle for too long (without a lid), as water will continue to evaporate, all the time.

This particular syrup crystallized overnight. I'm seriously contemplating changing the recipe to 425 g sugar per 2 dl liquid ... anyway, the syrup was rescued by the addition of the juice of cranberries (Vaccinium oxycoccos) (Finnish ... they're sour). The berries were frozen, but it doesn't take long to defreeze them, blend them, and measure out some of the resulting thickish juice. That's 1 dl cranberry juice to one batch of syrup, heat on low heat for 30 minutes, bottle. Cranberries work partly by adding more non-sugary liquid, partly by their pectin. Of which not much is left in frozen cranberries, but shrug.

2. Dandelion flower syrup

200 g frozen fresh whole dandy flowers (Taraxacum officinale)
2 l water

Boil for 30 minutes, strain, let sit on low-low heat for 2 hours. The liquid, as measured, was 8 dl. There's a limit to the amount of syrup you can ingest, so we set 4 dl of that aside and added 900 g sugar to the remaining 4 dl. Dissolve the sugar on low low heat.

This sugar, too, crystallized by the following morning, and we added the same cranberry juice/mash to that.

Both syrups got a gorgeous red color from those cranberries, and the sourness of the berries gave the syrup a nice tang, which complemented the original taste nicely.

The other group made their syrups from dried herb:

3. Cough syrup

50 g dried herbs:
4 parts peppermint (28 g),
2 parts hyssop (14 g),
1 part thyme (7 g)
1 l water

Bring to a boil, let simmer for 30 minutes, strain. That recipe, too, needs adjusting: 20 g dried herb is enough for 1 liter liquid. As is, this was too strong after the simmering, so we just measured it out and added sugar, without any evaporating of water.
That's 6 dl liquid. Add 1275 g sugar, dissolve, bottle, label. (? my notes say they added 650 g sugar, which is way too little: it'll either grow mold or start to ferment. I hope that's just a typo -- or, failing that, that they'll ingest the lot (it's extremely tasty) within the next week or two.)

4. Thyme-mint syrup

25 g dried thyme stems
25 g Japanese peppermint (Mentha canadensis)
1 l water

Bring to a boil, let simmer 30 minutes, strain. This gave 6 dl liquid; add 1300 g sugar to that, dissolve, bottle, label.

5. Another cough syrup

20 g dried ribwort plantain leaf (Plantago lanceolata)
10 g lemon savory (Satureja biflora)
10 g thyme
1 l water

Bring to a boil, let simmer 30 minutes, strain. Add 1275 g sugar to the resulting 6 dl liquid, let dissolve, bottle, label.
This one, too, was tasty.