Syrups: Keeping it Simple

06 February, 2013

(image: Thinkstock)

According to Giffard’s Sophie Godefroy, who looks after marketing and communications, the most popular flavours remains the classic ones such as Vanilla, Gum (or Gomme in French – sugar syrup), Grenadine, Strawberry, Caramel and Coconut.

Godefroy continues: “We can see, however, some more original flavours emerging, such as the elderflower syrup which has been very successful in central Europe for two years now. “There is also a big trend of syrups flavouring lemonades or sparkling waters with flavours such as Cucumber, Mojito, Lime.”

Giffard has recently launched a Woodruff syrup – Woodruff is a fragrant plant native to Europe and often found in Germany. The company launched the syrup to flavour lagers such as the famous Berliner Weisse beer “or white dry wines,” according to Godefroy. 

Monin launches four to five new flavours every year, in an attempt to “get as close as possible to customers’ demand and the trends in the markets”.

Market trends

International product manager Isabelle Issaurat says herbs and spices are still favourite products in the Monin range, including Basil, Tarragon, Cucumber and Spicy Syrup. 

Issaurat adds: “Fresh herbs and spices are still very popular in cocktail mixing, but of course some of them are difficult to find all year round, hard to keep fresh – for instance after two days in the fridge basil is dead – and it is also difficult to get the same taste all year round.

“Using Monin syrups ensures consistency of the taste throughout the year, and all over the world.”  

There seems to be no end to the flavours you can make into syrups and in 2012, Routin – another French syrups producer – launched a liquorice syrup under its 1883 brand. The company suggests mixing it with coffee and whisky. Here’s barista and barman Jonathan Cerna’s recipe:

1 espresso 

5/6 oz (2.5 cl) 1883 Liquorice syrup 

5/6 oz (2.5 cl) whisky

Frothy milk (about 8 oz/25 cl)

Method: Pour the espresso into a large glass. Stir in the syrup and whisky. Top with the preheated milk. 

Routin also has a large range of sugar-free syrups, including Chocolate, Raspberry, Vanilla, Hazelnut, Irish Cream and Almond. No doubt popular with the trend towards healthier living and low-calorie cocktails, but what do bartenders think of sugar-free syrups in cocktails?  

Cellar Door’s Stapleton says: “I found the flavour to be a bit cleaner than sugar syrups.”

But his general reservation about sugar free syrups is that they are often artificially sweetened and, as a bartender, he wants to “use products as fresh as possible and not man-made” in his drinks. 

So you see, the world of sugar syrups is, like Homeland, not as simple as you might’ve first imagined. But as the two continue to evolve, we wager they will just get better and better –  and without a doubt more complicated. 

Keywords: Syrups, simple syrup

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