This sage simple syrup is the perfect way to bring a unique flair to your favorite cocktails and baked goods. It’s perfectly sweet with a plethora of herbal flavor.
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Simple syrup, plain or flavored, is such a versatile ingredient to keep in your refrigerator. I prefer to make my own simple syrups at home.
They are incredibly easy and making a flavored simple syrup is no different. And fresh herbs are a delightful way to add sophisticated flavor without a fancy price tag.
🌟Why This Recipe Works
Simple syrup, at its most basic, is a mixture of equal parts sugar and water. It is briefly heated to help the sugar dissolve into a syrup. It hardly takes any time at all, and the payoff is more than worth it. This sage-infused simple syrup steeps the sage rather than boiling it.
The result is a light flavor that is perfect for a sage cocktail. We don't want our syrup tasting like Thanksgiving dinner.
Also, I like to add a pinch of salt. Just like with baked goods adding a pinch of salt enhances the flavors that may get lost under a lot of sugar.
Sugar - White sugar is the classic choice for simple syrup because it doesn’t add flavor, only sweetness. In this recipe, using white sugar allows for the flavor of the sage to shine through. I don't recommend brown sugar, or coconut sugar in this recipe.
Sage Leaves - This recipe requires fresh sage leaves. Be sure to thoroughly wash them.
Water - Tap water is fine, but the flavor of your water can impact the flavor of the syrup. If you don’t like the way your tap water tastes, you can use bottled or filtered water instead.
Salt - Kosher or fine sea salt to help to bring out the flavor of the sage.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
💭 Lemon Sage Simple Syrup
You can turn this recipe into lemon and sage syrup by swapping out ¼ cup of water with fresh lemon juice. Everything else remains as is.
🍲How to Make Sage Simple Syrup
While most people make their simple syrup with a saucepan I like to make this recipe in a small saute pan. You can keep a better eye on it to ensure you fully dissolve the sugar and salt.
In a small pan, combine water, sugar, and salt.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir with a metal whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved.
Add the sage leaves only, no stem, to the sugar syrup. Steep for 30 to 60 minutes of testing along the way to get your desire.
🥣 How to Use Sage Syrup
Stir the simple syrup into any drink you’d like. Cocktails are the obvious choice. I think it pairs well with gin thanks to the complimentary herbal notes. But vodka drinks are another popular choice.
You can also stir it into a glass of lemonade or iced tea, or use it to make a homemade sage soda by combining it with seltzer water.
Use it for any baking recipe, layer cakes come to mind, that calls for simple syrup. It is delicious lightly drizzled over pancakes, waffles, and breakfast pastries.
If the flavor isn't strong enough you can bring the pan back to a simmer and steep for another 30 minutes. Different sage bush varieties will have different levels of intensity when it comes to flavor.
🌡️How to Store Simple Syrup
Strain the leaves from the syrup before storing. Sage simple syrup should be kept in a clean airtight container, jar, or bottle in the refrigerator. It can last up to a month if properly stored. I don’t recommend storing the simple syrup on the counter or in the freezer.
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💬Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, honey sage simple syrup sounds delicious! You can substitute the sugar with an equal amount of honey. One thing to remember is that you may want to allow the sage to steep longer in the honey syrup so that the sage flavor is strong enough to be tasted over the flavor of the honey.
There are so many creative possibilities for this syrup. You can try whisking some of the simple syrup into a homemade salad dressing for a sweet and herbal flavor.
It also is excellent to use as part of a marinade for chicken or pork. Or, you can stir it into a soup or stew that could use more flavor and sweetness.
If you find the syrup is too sweet for you, you can add some more water. Keep in mind that adding water will change the texture of the syrup and make it thinner, which makes it better for cocktails than for pouring on pancakes. You can also try using less of it in your recipe. Try using it to replace the sugar in a drink recipe rather than as an addition.
Sage Simple Syrup
- Small Saucepan
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 10-12 fresh sage leaves about 2 to 3 sprigs
- In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar, and salt. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved.1 cup water, 1 cup granulated sugar, pinch of salt
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the fresh sage leaves (remove the leaves from the stems and discard steams). Allow the mixture to steep for 30 minutes. Check for tastes. If you want a stronger syrup let it step for 30 more minutes.10-12 fresh sage leaves
- Strain the leaves from the syrup and discard. Transfer the sage simple syrup to a sterilized glass jar or bottle for storage.
- Sage-infused simple syrup will last for up to one month when stored properly in the fridge. It has crystalized or become cloudy throw it out.