While sitting on the patio on Sunday with homemade quiche and espresso, it dawned on me that I wasn’t drinking the right thing. There was only one thing on my mind – I want a mimosa. But we don’t have any orange juice? Well, we would just have to improvise! Here is where I came up with the idea for mimosa syrup (which upon making, is definitely multipurpose).
You want to start off with freshly picked strawberries and mint, from your bountiful garden. If you don’t have one of these, do what I did and pop to the grocery store. You don’t need much, about a cup of each. Put these into a small food processor. I chopped the strawberries roughly and tore the mint to make it a little easier on my old food processor.
Using the chop and pulse setting, pulse until your mint-berry mix looks something like this.
Now, here is a really important step. Take a good whiff – does it smell perfect? Everyone has a different preference, I like stronger strawberry flavor with just enough mint to supplement. Some people are the opposite, and smelling really helps to distinguish the taste later on.
Back to the recipe. Add 1/4 cup water, as this will help keep your food processor blades from dulling as quickly. Change the setting on your machine to the highest it will go, as we really want to pulverize this!
This is what it should look like when you finish using the processor. Let this sit here for a while as we complete the next step. This helps the flavors steep.
Bring 1 cup of water to boil in a large non-stick frying pan. Non-stick is essential or you will end up with a very difficult pan to clean.
Once water has reached boiling point, lower the temperature to a medium heat and add 2 cups white sugar, whisking with a silicone whisk until sugar is completely dissolved. This forms a simple syrup base.
(Before you begin with the fruit, it is worth noting that the longer you cook this, the thicker the syrup will be. For cocktails, it should be runny so you can mix it easily in a glass. For desserts, it is better thicker. For thinner consistency, bubble at the level shown in the picture for 7-10 minutes, for thicker, 12-15. When you are making a thinner syrup, it does not have enough time for the flavor to steep as well, so you should pour the berry mix from the food processor into a small frying pan to heat through for five minutes before pouring into simple syrup.)
Pour in the strawberry mixture immediately to ensure maximum flavor. Whisk until combined, then leave to bubble until a gross looking green sludge forms on the top.
Continue whisking the green sludge back into your syrup, you really want the mint to flavor your syrup. Continue whisking for another minute. Now, it’s time to let the mixture sit.
Here is how it will look after about 15 minutes of heating and whisking.
Prepare your sieve over a bowl and put only one thin layer of cheesecloth over it. This catches the pulp, like a filtration system. (I used too much in the picture below and it took so long to finish straining that I was standing there for ten minutes holding the sieve above the bowl! After that, the syrup solidified and was very difficult to wash out of the sieve).
Now, very carefully pour the whole syrup through the strainer. You don’t want the sieve sitting in the syrup or it won’t strain, so pick up the strainer with your other hand. Be careful not to pour too much at once as this will cause the cloth to flop over and you may drop the sieve.
The sieve catches all of the sludgy pulp, and your bowl catches all of your syrupy, sugary goodness. If you decide to do this on the counter rather than over the sink, then your counter will catch some syrup too – line counter with parchment paper to prevent a sticky mess. (I am way too put together to get myself in this kind of situation of course, this definitely didn’t happen to me..)
Pour into mason jars immediately, label and put straight in the refrigerator. I made a few variations, raspberries, strawberries, basil, mint, but you can use anything as long as it is easily processed. Now, grab some champagne…
And mix away!
Add a lime and you’re done!