Evergreen Syrup

A jar of evergreen syrup, still full of young needles!A nifty trick I picked up at Looshaus, a hotel and restaurant in Kreuzberg, Lower Austria.

Pick evergreen “buds” (the small bundles of new needles that appear in late spring), simmer them in simple syrup (1:1 water to sugar), and transfer the whole mess into glass jars.  The syrup takes on a fantastic, minty, pine flavour, which the Looshaus chef says gets even better with a few months storage.  Strain the needles out before using the syrup.

Some ideas for usage:

  • sauces for game meats (think: evergreen gastrique)
  • ice cream
  • in sparkling water (beer flavoured with young spruce needles was once common in Canada…) 
  • pork brines

The same process can be used for other common backyard plants, like dandelion and elderberry.

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