Thursday, August 25, 2011

JoSnow Italian Soda

Jo Snow Syrups shows up at the Farmers' Market every three weeks, offering a variety of syrup flavors including Cafe de Olla (which as its name suggests, goes quite well into coffee) and Tangerine Lavender Honey. At $10 a bottle we've only been picking up one flavor a visit — Fig Vanilla Black Pepper our first time, and Hibiscus Basil Orange Blossom the second. They're delicious, and we've been taking every opportunity to experiment with using them.

Both flavors we tried are light and delicate, and serve well as ice cream toppings. You can also make a variety of mixed drinks with the syrups. Fig Vanilla Black Pepper mixes in well with rum, but for the relative sweetness of Hibiscus Basil Orange Blossom we chose to mix it with vodka. Jo Snow lists a number of cocktail recipes on their website.

With a little seltzer water and lime, it's easy to make a refreshing soft drink out of the Hibiscus Basil Orange Blossom syrup. We used whatever brand of seltzer water was cheapest — it didn't matter too much, and what you're really drinking it for is the syrup.  The wedge of lime gave the drink that little extra tart it needed to offset the sweet floral Hibiscus.

A caveat: the syrup is heavy, so you'll need to stir it quite well or your first few sips will be almost entirely seltzer. Even so, the drinks came out very visually interesting with a definite layering to them.