Inspired by both candied citron and traditional Christmas panettone, this syrup highlights seasonal winter citrus with a touch of aromatic herbs. Zesting the citron directly into the sugar allows the syrup to also capture its fresh and fragrant oils, creating the perfect setting for heartier sprigs of rosemary and thyme. Evocative of biting into a candied citron peel, this syrup with many vodka or gin-based cocktails, and would add refreshing balance to a lower-ABV aperitivo or spritz.
Yield: 1 1/3 cups
- 1 citron (inner pitch to be reserved for another purpose)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 3 sprigs mint
- Zest citron over and into sugar in a small saucepan away from heat.
- With your fingers rub the citron zest and sugar together until the whole mixture looks like wet sand and the air is heavily perfumed.
- Pour 1 cup water over sugar, stir with a whisk to combine and turn heat to medium.
- Bring the syrup just under a boil, whisking occasionally, to dissolve sugar. Then lower heat and let cook until syrup appears clear rather than cloudy, 3 to 5 minutes total.
- Remove syrup from heat and pour into a container, let cool to room temperature and then add sprigs of herbs to container, top with lid, shake to disturb the herbs and let sit overnight to marry. The longer you let the herbs sit in the syrup the stronger their flavor will become.
- Next day, strain the syrup to remove herbs and zest and store refrigerated until ready to use.