Fruit syrups

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Fruit syrups can be a basis for winter fruit drinks, or served as sauces for puddings, or flavourings for mousses and ices. The usual problem is with sterilizing and storage, since bottles tend to burst. The best ones to use are the lever-stoppered type with a china cap and rubber washer; second choice is the traditional sauce bottle with screw cap. Syrups should be stored in a cool dark place, or colours will fade, though a little vegetable colouring may be used to give a more attractive appearance.

The latest answer to the storage problem is to use the freezer. Make the syrup in the way described below, cool, and pour into containers, leaving room for expansion, then freeze. An even better method is to pour the syrup into ice-cube trays, freeze, then wrap each cube in freezer film, and put them together in labelled transparent bags. Each cube will be enough for 1 portion, to dilute with water.

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