March 26, 2015

Cocktails with Royal Rose Simple Syrups

I love Royal Rose's flavored simple syrups - I use them in cocktails, and I mix with soda water for lightly flavored homemade sodas. Their unique flavors add give cocktails unexpected depth (like in my favorite Saffron Sour at the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club), and you can feel good about their use of natural, organic ingredients. I've always had several bottles on hand ever since they came to Maine, launching with a cocktail party in a Biddeford mill building in 2013. 

Emily and Forrest, the couple behind the products, have since moved their manufacturing to Brunswick and continue to add new flavors. Emily offered to send me the newest flavors, and I immediately began searching for recipes using the unusual ingredients like fenugreek, anise, and jasmine. 

Turns out their bottles come with some of the best recipes for their products; the one recipe I found on my own was a bit of a flop in my mind (I've included it anyway, in case you think it runs towards your tastes). 

The anise simple syrup is made with both star anise pods and fennel seeds, in addition to cane sugar and lemon juice. The syrup is subtly anise-flavored; I know many don't like the stuff, but this syrup is a good gateway into the world of licorice flavors. It's not overpowering, but sweet and a little tart, and blended very well in the Love Below. It would make a great summertime or brunch cocktail.

The Love Below
From Royal Rose Simple Syrups

1 oz. light rum
1 oz. peach or orange juice
1/2 oz. Royal Rose Anise Syrup
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

Combine rum, juices, and syrup in a cocktail shaker. Ad ice and shake. Strain into a chilled coupe glass or champagne flute and top with prosecco.

The Rose Connelly brings out the earthier notes of the syrup; I didn't get much anise at all. If you think its a little sweet, as I did, an additional squeeze of lime will bring it into balance.

Rose Connelly
From Royal Rose Simple Syrups

1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey
1/4 oz. St Germain elderflower liqueur
1/2 oz. Royal Rose Anise Syrup
1/2 oz. lime juice

Shake ingredients with ice. Serve straight up or on the rocks.

After a few missteps, I ran out of rye whiskey, so I turned to Knob Creek for the Fenugreek Is Not Fennel! cocktail. And indeed, it's not fennel, but rather has a sweet, molasses type flavor in a syrup - it's actually used to make the flavoring that flavors artificial maple syrup. 

Fenugreek Is Not Fennel!
From Royal Rose Simple Syrups

1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey
1/2 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
1/2 oz. Royal Rose Fenugreek Syrup
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients over ice and shake. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice and garnish with a lemon twist.

The only misstep was, again, when I tried to find my own recipe - this Michigan Sweat Lodge sounded promising, although it was a Maine Sweat Lodge when I made it, since I used Maine wild blueberries. The harsh, bitter notes of Cocchi Americano and Campari combined and overtook any other flavor, however. If you just love the bitter end of Campari, this cocktail is for you.

Maine Sweat Lodge
Adapted from Chicago Reader

6-8 Maine blueberries
1.5 oz Wild Turkey 101 rye whiskey
1 oz Cocchi Americano
.5 oz Royal Rose fenugreek syrup
.5 oz Campari
dash Angostura bitters

Muddle blueberries in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add spirits, fenugreek syrup, and bitters. Add ice, and stir until it's chilled and the flavors are incorporated. Strain into a chilled martini or old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a smoked blueberry.

Stay tuned for recipes using the Jasmine, Ginger-Lime, and Orange-Vanilla flavors!