Simple Summer Syrups

As you can imagine, at Twist, we like a good cocktail year-round. That being said, summer drinks are the BEST. What's better than sitting on a patio, soaking up the sun with a delicious beverage in hand?




You don't have to spend a fortune, either - it's surprisingly simple to make your own creative libations that can be enjoyed from your own backyard. The easiest way to do this is incorporating some flavourful non-alcoholic ingredients, like syrups and shrubs, that take minimal effort and are super low-cost. This also means they're available to spruce up your zero-proof drinks too, for the days you want to skip the booze.


While shrubs are an awesome addition to your home bartender lineup, today we're going to stick to some basic syrups that you can have ready in less than 24 hours (some less than one hour!). Here's a few of our go-to summer syrups, and our favourite ways to use them - both with and without alcohol!




Pineapple Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe pineapple, peeled and cut into chunks

  • 1 cup organic cane sugar

  • 1 cup water

Method:


Cut up pineapple into chunks, and place in a glass bowl. Add one cup of organic cane sugar and mix with pineapple. Cover and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.


The next day, make a 1:1 simple syrup (also very easy - learn how here) with 1 cup organic cane sugar and 1 cup water. Add the pineapple and all the liquid in the bowl to a blender and pulse to break down the pineapple. Add the simple syrup to the blender and pulse briefly.


Strain through cheesecloth or fine mesh into a new container (we use squeeze bottles for easy use, but mason jars are also great). Make sure to press the pineapple as you strain it so all the juices are extracted! Store in refrigerator.


8 Ounces of Sunshine

Ingredients:

  • 1oz Spiced Rum

  • 0.5oz Honey Shine (sub any white rum)

  • 1oz pineapple syrup

  • 0.5oz fresh lime juice

  • Ginger beer (or soda, for less sweetness)

Method:


Add both rums, pineapple syrup, and lime juice into a shaker with ice. Shake for 10-15 seconds and strain into a Collins glass with ice. Top with spicy ginger beer or soda and give it a stir!



Pineapple Express

Ingredients:

  • 1oz pineapple syrup

  • 0.5oz fresh lime juice

  • 4-5 basil leaves

  • Ginger beer

Method:


Muddle basil leaves in a shaker with pineapple syrup and fresh lime juice. Add ice and shake for 10-15 seconds. Strain into a Collins glass and top with ginger beer.



Fresh basil is a good addition to the rum version, too!


Jalapeño Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic cane sugar

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, washed and stemmed

Method:

Add the sugar and water to a saucepan over medium-high heat, and stir until sugar is dissolved.


Slice jalapenos lengthwise and add to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently – you don’t want to let the sugar stick to the bottom.


Reduce heat to a simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat, let stand for twenty minutes.


Strain into a jar through cheesecloth or fine mesh to remove the peppers and seeds.


Smokey Jalapeño Paloma

Ingredients:

  • 1oz Tequila

  • 0.5oz Mezcal

  • 1oz grapefruit juice (fresh is best - squeeze a grapefruit if you can!)

  • 0.5oz jalapeño syrup

  • Soda

Method:


Add tequila, mezcal, grapefruit juice, and jalapeño syrup to a shaker with ice. Shake for 10-15 seconds and strain into an old fashioned glass with ice. Top with soda.


Grapefruit Zinger

Ingredients:

  • 1.5oz grapefruit juice

  • 0.5oz lime juice

  • 0.5oz jalapeño syrup

  • Soda

Method:


Shake both juices and syrup with ice for 10-15 seconds. Strain into an old fashioned glass with ice, and top with soda. Fun addition to this beverage - salt rim!



Big ice cube trays can be bought at most home stores, and are a great way to keep your drinks from diluting in the heat.


Raspberry Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup organic cane sugar

  • 2 cups fresh raspberries

Method:


Add the sugar and water to a saucepan over medium-high heat, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add raspberries and bring to a simmer, reducing heat to low. Simmer for 8 minutes.


Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain out raspberries and store in the refrigerator.


Raspberry Gin Martini

Ingredients:

  • 1oz gin

  • 0.5oz dry vermouth (we used Noilly Prat)

  • 0.5oz raspberry syrup

  • Rosemary

Method:


Muddle rosemary in a shaker. Add gin, dry vermouth, and raspberry syrup. Shake for 10-15 seconds and strain into a martini glass.


Raspberry Lemonade

Ingredients:

  • 1oz raspberry syrup

  • 1oz soda

  • Lemonade (fresh or bought)

  • Mint

Method:


Muddle mint in a shaker. Add raspberry syrup and stir, to chill the syrup. Strain into a glass over ice. Add soda and top with your favourite lemonade.



You can change the flavour of this martini quite drastically with a different gin and a different vermouth, and there are tons of options out there!

Happy summer sipping everyone!