Making Your Own - Flavored Syrup & Comfort

As promised, here it is, the how-to of making your very own flavored syrups for coffee and other drinks. Ready for this? It’s just too easy. Honest, it really is.

First, you make a simple syrup. This is done by taking equal parts sugar and water and bringing to a boil. Once the granules of sugar have completely dissolved, add your flavorings. Extracts, flavorings, even ground spices can all be used to create the flavor of choice. If you have vanilla beans, you can scrape them and add directly to the syrup.

Now the fun part, place into container of choice. I use a miscellaneous collection of glass vinegar cruets and decanters, just because I like things to be pretty as well as functional. Any number of containers will work. I would avoid metal though, for safety’s sake. The container also needs to pour well. We don’t want to lose any of our special treat to dripping. I also put the sweetened condensed milk for my iced coffee into a cruet. I do keep the sweetened condensed milk in the refrigerator between uses, when I have it on hand. Sweetened condensed milk is a special treat that usually shows up at Christmas and branding time. Simple syrups don‘t always require refrigeration.

Possible flavor combinations are practically endless. Whatever flavor you enjoy is a flavor to add, maybe not all at once to the same syrup though. Another fun variation that I am going to be trying soon is the use of brown sugar instead of white in the simple syrup. Can you imagine chocolate extract with the rich brown sugar? What about vanilla? Wouldn’t that be so warm and cozy?

Right now we are thinking of cold drinks such as iced tea and/or lemonade. Flavored syrups can be used to create refreshing flavors for the warmer months too. Mint anyone? Strawberry? Raspberry? Let’s stop for a minute and picture ourselves sitting outside with a warm breeze lightly brushing our cheeks as we visit with a friend and sip an iced tea or lemonade. Shall we? Did you find yourself letting out a big, old sigh of enjoyment? I did.

A few things from the survivalist information I have been reading and hearing about have really stuck with me. The most surprising thing I learned from Les Stroud on his television show a few years back. The television show Man, Woman, Wild also taught the same thing in one of their episodes. What these survivalists taught is to create a sense of comfort, even a teeny tiny one. That doing this strengthens one emotionally which in turn strengthens physically. For instance, during one episode of Man, Woman, Wild, they brewed tea from Pine Needles. For Les Stroud it was obtaining a warming fire.

An indulgence that evokes a feeling of comfort will vary from individual to individual. No matter what one chooses to always keep on hand, the principle is the same. Even the tiniest bit of pleasure comforts, strengthens, and encourages in the face of extreme hardship and difficulties. If one is in the middle of serious financial lack, flavored syrups may seem a ridiculous luxury. Maybe they are. Perhaps though, they are just that little bit of cheer the situation needs.

Flavored syrups also make lovely, inexpensive gifts. A variety of syrups, some flavored coffee, and biscotti or shortbread might be just the gift to warm up a friend(s) this winter or bless a special Valentine. Naturally, they would enrich time spent with a friend(s) too.

Flavored coffees and syrups can be expensive to purchase. However, with recipes and how-tos for making your own, they become inexpensive gourmet gifts with which we can bless others. If we pay attention to sales and utilize coupons/special offers, we will be a blessing to the budget also. There is some serious love and warmth brewing here at Abundance. Drop in anytime. Bring your friends. Invite them all. The coffee pot’s on, the ice tea is brewed,  and the love’s flowing strong.

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