Rosemary simple syrup is a delicious and easy way to add fresh, herbaceous flavor to drinks and desserts.
The fresh, woodsy flavor of rosemary complements many fruits, spices, and other herbs. From rosemary lemonade and iced coffees to fancy cocktails or even fruit salad, there are so many ways to use this forest-flavored syrup.
What is rosemary?
Rosemary is an evergreen shrub with fragrant, needle-like leaves. It’s in the same family as mint and sage, lamiaceae, and it grows in dense bushes with thick stems. Rosemary sprigs look and smell a lot like miniature pine trees. This aromatic Mediterranean herb has been used for centuries in both food and medicine.
Rosemary is easy to grow, which helped make it one of the most popular kitchen herbs in medieval Europe. The Romans often cooked with rosemary, and it can be found in recipes dating back to Ancient Greece.
Today, chefs use it as an ingredient in everything from seasoning for meats to breads, sauces, and desserts. Many people still associate the flavor of rosemary with Thanksgiving turkey – and it was traditionally used by Native Americans during their winter feasts.
Almost every culture has used rosemary in some way or another, including medicinal preparations. Ancient people prized rosemary for its cleansing properties and it was believed that burning the herb would ward off evil spirits and offer protection from illness.
Rosemary’s pungent flavor pairs well with poultry, pork, vegetables, and potatoes. Its versatility and wide availability have made it one of the most popular herbs today.
What does rosemary taste like?
The best way to describe the unique flavor of rosemary is pine-like, woodsy, lemony, and slightly peppery. Rosemary is full of essential oils and it’s resinous leaves can leave a sticky, fragrant residue on your hands. It’s flavor is fresh but quite strong, so a little goes a long way.
Rosemary is an intense flavor, so it’s important to use it sparingly. Otherwise, other flavors in your drink or dessert can be easily overpowered.
Ways to use this syrup
This delicious herbal simple syrup can be used in all kinds of drinks, in baked goods, and in fruit salads. The earthy and somewhat savory flavor of rosemary makes a nice contrast with sweet fruits like berries, apples, pineapple, and even grapes. Here are some ways you could use this syrup:
- Rosemary lemonade
- Rosemary iced coffee
- Rosemary whipped cream
- Cranberry sauce with rosemary syrup and orange zest
- Rosemary Gimlet
- Autumn Moscow Mule
- Rosemary Greyhound
- Lemon layer cake with rosemary buttercream frosting
- Drizzled over pancakes with fresh blackberries
- Brushed on a rustic apple or pear galette
- Poured over vanilla ice cream
- Brushed onto grilled pineapple slices
- Used in a rosemary glaze on baked lavender doughnuts
- Added to a blackberry coulis
- Drizzled over a fruit salad of winter citrus, red grapes, and green apples
Rosemary Lemonade: In a tall glass, combine 2 tablespoons of rosemary simple syrup with 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Fill the glass with ice and top it with chilled still or sparkling water. Stir, then garnish with a lemon wheel and a fresh rosemary sprig.
Rosemary Iced Coffee: Fill a tall glass with ice. Add 2 tablespoons of rosemary simple syrup and 1-2 tablespoons of half and half, milk, or almond milk. Pour chilled coffee (preferably cold brew!) into the glass and stir to combine.
Rosemary Greyhound Cocktail: Combine 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of vodka or gin with 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) of rosemary simple syrup in a double rocks glass filled with ice. Stir to chill, then top with 4-6 ounces of fresh pink grapefruit juice. Garnish with a grapefruit slice and a sprig of rosemary.
Rosemary Blackberry Coulis: Add two cups of blackberries, 1/4 cup of rosemary simple syrup, and the juice of one small lemon wedge to a blender. Blend on high until smooth, then strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds and solids. Serve with ice cream, cakes, or other desserts.
Rosemary syrup flavor pairings
Ingredients you’ll need
- Fresh rosemary
To make this easy infused simple syrup, combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until all of the sugar has dissolved.
Next, add 3 to 6 sprigs of fresh rosemary to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Let the syrup boil for one minute, then reduce the heat to low and simmer the liquid for about 10 minutes, or until flavorful.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool fully. Once cool, strain out the rosemary and store the syrup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can also stir in an ounce of neutral or light-tasting alcohol like vodka to help the syrup keep longer.
You may also enjoy these other simple syrup recipes:
Some handpicked rosemary recipes from around the internet:
- Iced Vanilla Rosemary Latte
- Lemon Rosemary Butter Cookies
- Rosemary Olive Oil Cake
- Strawberry Rosemary Scones
Rosemary Simple Syrup Recipe
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3-6 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- Combine the water and the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until all of the sugar has dissolved.
- Add 3 to 6 sprigs of fresh rosemary to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Let the syrup boil for one minute, then reduce the heat to low and simmer the liquid for about 10 minutes, or until flavorful.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool fully. Once cool, strain out the rosemary and store the syrup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- You can also stir in an ounce of neutral or light-tasting alcohol like vodka to help the syrup keep longer.