Does anybody else find actual joy in walking into a room and inhaling the nostalgic scent of a fresh Christmas tree? It’s the best.
Balsam fir syrup allows you to infuse that fresh, woodsy, pine flavour into cocktails, drinks, and holiday treats. And the best part is, despite a necessary wander into the yard, or a snip off the Christmas tree, you’ve probably already got all of the ingredients at home.
I am a big fan of mixing my own simple syrups. They’re super easy to make, provide a vessel for delicate and uncommon flavours, and always gets people excited. I’ve experimented with a few different recipes over the years including lavender, rosemary, and apricot–and all have been wildly successful. I’ll use them in cocktails, teas, baking, and cooking; and I’m sure there are a million other places where they’d work wonderfully.
So let’s bring our attention to this recipe for Balsam Fir Syrup, adapted from Local Milk. Seriously, it’s some kind of wonderful. We’ve reduced her recipe here, as the original was for the purpose of giving out the syrup as gifts. So assuming you don’t want eight cups of the stuff, we shrank it down. This syrup would be absolutely delicious in a Balsam Fir cocktail, a chocolate bark, a new take on shortbread cookies, and more. It can be stored for about a month if refrigerated, so you can keep continuing to enjoy flavours reminiscent of the holidays even in January.
Give it a try, and let us know how you use it!
1 cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
⅓ teaspoon ginger
1 clove, lightly crushed
Pinch of salt
¼ tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup Balsam Fir, other edible conifer needles (You can also use White Pine, Spruce, or Douglas Fir) See safety instructions.
- In a medium to large saucepan, bring the granulated and brown sugar, as well as the water, to a boil. Stir frequently.
- Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, remove from heat and add in the remaining ingredients. Let steep until the mixture has cooled completely, or overnight if possible. Stir occasionally to combine flavours.
- When finished steeping, strain your syrup through a cheesecloth-lined mesh strainer into a bottle.
- This syrup should stay good for a few months if refrigerated!
It’s important to rinse your Fir needles really, really well before using them in this recipe. If you’re taking them right off of your Christmas tree, be sure your tree is completely organic and hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals.