Garden-Infused Simple Syrup

by Amy Stewart from The Drunken Botanist 

Almost any botanical ingredient, from lemon peel to rhubarb to rosemary, can be infused into a simple syrup. This is an easy way to showcase seasonal produce and add a twist to a basic cocktail recipe. 

1/2 cup herbs, flowers, fruit or spices
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 ounce vodka (optional)

Combine all the ingredients except the vodka in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir well, until the sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture cool, then pour through a fine mesh strainer. Add the vodka (if using) as a preservative and keep refrigerated. Good for 2 to 3 weeks, lasts longer in the freezer.