In­gre­di­ents to fla­vor sim­ple syrup

Austin American-Statesman - - FOOD & LIFE -

1⁄ cup packed herbs such as any va­ri­ety of

2 basil, mint, thyme, ver­bena, lemon­grass, le­mon balm, sage or even ci­lantro

1 Tbsp. le­mon, grape­fruit, orange or lime zest 3 Tbsp. laven­der, sliced gin­ger or rose­mary 1 cup fresh or frozen sliced fruit or veg­etable such as sweet corn or cu­cum­ber 1 pinch saf­fron threads 2 3-inch cin­na­mon sticks 2 Tbsp. whole car­damom pods, star anise, cloves or all­spice (a tea­spoon or two of ground spices will also work, but they won’t dis­solve in the liq­uid, so your fi­nal syrup will con­tain spice flecks)

1 cup dried fruits such as figs, cran­ber­ries, cur­rants or pineap­ple

1 whole dried chile or 1 sliced fresh chile such as an­cho, chipo­tle, jalapeño or ser­rano

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from pod into syrup

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