In recent years, when the art of mixology has experienced a new period of celebrity and general interest, the preparation of syrups and alcoholic infusions based on flowers, herbs, fruit, and spices has become extremely popular. This is a fun and useful practice that allows customising cocktails and creating truly unique drinks.
We start with good news: it is easy to make syrups at home. The process is quite simple: just dissolve sugar in water, then flavour it with the aromas you like best.
For example, you can use spices like cinnamon, or tonka bean, coffee, pepper. And if you prefer flowers (preferably dried for hot syrup extractions), have fun with chamomile, rose, which is always a great classic, or even hibiscus, lavender, herbs from the garden and, of course, fruit (but pay attention, because fruit contains sugar, and the ingredients need to be dosed well to obtain the right degree of sweetness in the syrup).
After we have the desired syrup, with the preferred degree of sweetness, what do we do with it?
Our advice is to create some excellent vodka sours or customise some of the great classics with the timeless and forever popular Americano.
The same considerations made for syrups also apply to alcoholic infusions, thanks to which it is possible to flavour our favourite distillate or liqueur with the spice we like best.
Bartenders use different techniques, with different degrees of complexity and different equipment: maceration, rapid infusion, and low-temperature cooking.
Limoncello, for which at least half of Italian families have an old family recipe, is a liqueur made by infusing alcohol. During the 1990s, industrial versions of this traditional Mediterranean liqueur became widespread in Italy, while today, the revival of artisanal and even homemade production has returned dignity to this delicious product. Making it at home, possibly with your very own lemons, is a pleasure and an act of love towards a raw material that has infinite qualities.