At Sunset we’re massive fans of high-flavor, high-impact artisanal foods we can keep on hand in our kitchens to instantly upgrade whatever we’re cooking. While you might own multiple hot sauces, a portfolio of oils, a mix of mustards, and a lazy Susan of spices, do you possess a simple syrup selection? If not, the holidays are the perfect time to set yourself up with the fine products from Sonoma Syrup Co.
Simple syrup, if you don’t know, is a perfectly balanced sugar mixture that adds instant flavor to baked goods, beverages, and savory dishes with no melting required. It’s the secret weapon of bakers, baristas, bartenders, and chefs, and Sonoma Syrup Co.’s numerous bottlings made from all-natural ingredients are a shortcut to deliciousness.
Over the past 20 years this woman-owned and operated company based in California wine country has made a name for itself as the premier producer of top-shelf simple syrups infused with all the flavors we love: two types of mint, pomegranate, almond, white ginger, Meyer lemon, lime, lavender, and so many more. We love Sonoma Syrup Co.’s offerings so much we’ve included them in our most recent holiday subscription box so lucky subscribers can experience the versatility and deliciousness first-hand.
To get you inspired to do the same, we’ve assembled a few of our favorite ways Sonoma Syrup Co. will make your cooking and drink-making—through the holidays and beyond—all the more delectable by easily and instantly infusing major flavor… For the full collection of Sonoma Syrup Co.’s dozens of delicious offerings, click here to peruse and purchase. And for inspiration and ideas, read on!
Infuse Your Food
Yes, simple syrup is sweet, which can put cooks in the mind of desserts, but it also can play an essential role in balancing savory dishes. Every pitmaster knows that sugar is a critical ingredient in a sauce, and every chef worth their salt (or sugar) knows that no acid or smoked food can’t be improved with a little sweetness. Simple syrup in a glaze or a sauce will caramelize over gentle heat, adding molecular complexity, which translates into flavor! Sonoma Syrup Co.’s syrups have the added bonus of being infused with natural ingredients, which express themselves beautifully over a slow-roasted or simply grilled meat. Come the holidays, we like to keep our daytime eating light to make room for evening indulgence, which is why we like this ridiculously easy use of their Lavender Infused Simple Syrup to add just a touch of herbaceous floral sweetness to Greek yogurt and fresh fruit. It’s also an easy instant breakfast.
Try It: Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce
Maximize Your Mixology
Simple syrup is a go-to ingredient for bartenders and mixologists the world over, as it provides viscosity and a rich mellowing counterpoint to spirits and tangy fresh juices. It bridges flavors and smooths out the edges. And when you use an infused simple syrup such as mint or Meyer lemon or lavender, an extra dimension of aromatics and flavor is introduced that makes a drink even more delightful. One of our favorites for the holidays is a classic Peppermint Martini that’s bracing and refreshing and goes down easy. For a more Southwestern vibe, go for the Pomegranate Paloma. And if you’re feeling nostalgic for Old Hollywood glamour, make yourself a Moscow Mule with Sonoma Syrup Co.’s White Ginger Infused Simple Syrup (which also makes a great Asian-inflected vinaigrette!).
Try It: A Very Merry Peppermint Martini
Try It: Moscow Mule
Be Your Own Barista
Nothing says cozy and toasty and holiday more than the super-seasonal aroma of pumpkin spices. Sonoma Syrup Co. has captured this most autumnal and wintery flavor in their Pumpkin Pie Latte Syrup that’s made with a perfectly calibrated mix of Vietnamese and Ceylon cinnamon, Indian nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, and their own vanilla blend. No need to head out to the cafe to partake in this seasonal indulgence. The company also makes vanilla bean, almond, hazelnut, and other syrups that can help you dial in your coffee game.
Try It: DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte
Be a Better Baker
The easiest of all holiday hacks for a baker is sweetening whipped cream with a little simple syrup. Just drizzle a couple of tablespoons into the cream and whip up a batch. The combinations are endless: peppermint whipped cream on apple pie, lavender whipped cream on lemon cake, vanilla whipped cream on flourless chocolate cake. For a delightfully nutty seasonal tour de force, go with an almond torte that goes double with their almond products, including the Vanilla Almond (Orgeat) Simple Syrup and Pure Almond Extract, and adds the extra vanilla punch of their Organic Pure Vanilla Bean Extract “Crush®,” which features both Madagascar & Tahitian vanilla and crushed beans.
Try It: Almond Torte