Fruit flavoured syrups are less common than Sugar Syrup but are much more interesting. Outside of cocktails you'll be most likely to see a fruit syrup dripping seductively over pancakes or being mixed into cakes but they also introduce a concentrated layer of depth, colour and complexity to a mixed drink that would otherwise be lacking. Most importantly, fruit syrups are cheap and extremely easy to make, and dissolve perfectly into cold drinks, adding flavour and fun without raising the cost or compromising quality.
Fruit Syrups are made in a very similar way to Sugar Syrup, except it infuses fruit into the flavour. There are popular flavours of syrups that feature heavily in cocktail recipes, such as coconut, pineapple and passionfruit, but you can use any fruit you want for this. The most common use for Fruit Syrups in mixed drinks is to enhance a pre-exising flavour in a drink, like how coconut syrup brings out the best in a Piña Colada, or how Passionfruit Syrup makes a Pornstar Martini pop.
Another use for Fruit Syrups in drinks is to incorporate a subtle hint of your favourite flavours into a drink that you think could be so much better, for example, a rhubarb Tom Collins, although you'll get a much more satisfactory outcome by infusing your own spirits at home. If not, you can craft an easy Mocktail by mixing a shot or two with soda water, known as a Cooler.
To make fruit syrup, simply follow the same steps as Sugar Syrup (equal parts sugar and boiling water), but add in chunks or slices of your desired fruit.
1 Part Water
1 Part Sugar
3 Parts Fruit (if using frozen fruit, make sure to defrost them first)
1) Make sure that you cut the fruit down to very small pieces, ideally no more than 2cm long and wide, so that the flavours release quickly and evenly.
2) Put all the ingredients together in a pan and turn up the heat. Once it comes to a boil turn down the heat and let the mix simmer for 5 minutes to allow all the flavours to blend.
3) Use a sieve or fine strainer from your cocktail set to separate the fruit pieces from the syrup, and store in a bottle or jug and allow it to set. It will last up to 4 days stored in ambient conditions, or 7 days in the fridge.
Since the potency and flavour will vary wildly depending on the fruit you choose, let alone its size, weight and age, there is no hard and fast rule for measuring exactly how much you need. Not enough fruit and you'll essentially have discoloured sugar syrup, too much and it will tarty and bitter. This is especially the case with citrus fruits like lemons, limes, grapefruit and oranges. Its an art that largely comes down to personal taste, but a general rule of thumb is to add 3 grams of fruit for every 1 grams of sugar you use.
Check out our straightforward guides to making other ingredients at home:
P.S. This method of making syrups isn't just limited to fruits. Follow the same method using almonds to make home made Orgeat, an important ingredient in Mai Tai's, or be bold and adventurous and try using vanilla, coffee or spices like cinnamon and ginger!