I woke up and lied in bed staring into the ceiling as if it would begin moving like clouds before the rain. I changed my position several times allowing my limbs to find the areas of the sheets that still had just a little chill left. I could hear my neighbor cranking up his F 450 and I was reminded that it was Saturday, the rumble always seemed to beat my alarm clock by minutes, in the annoying way that nature calls moments before your appearance is requested at scheduled event.
I swept the gray elephant laced duvet and comforter back, my wife still curled in the sheets, I placed my bare feet on the cold wood floor. The golden light had begun to make its way through the bathroom blinds, the way it does every morning during the six o’ clock hour. Sometimes I lie and stare into it for several minutes, and it often seems like hours, until the light begins to shift. My mind consumed with what the day will bring, and I begin to anticipate whether or not I will accomplish everything I want to do within the allotted hours. Check lists have never been ‘my thing.’ I like the sound of organization but when it comes down to it – executing the things I set before myself often feels like an interminable task. I was proud of myself for getting my herbs planted this year because last year wasn’t that successful. And my basil died a slow death, and yes, I’m ashamed, but I digress.
I’ve been watering my mint for a few months now and I could never seem to find the time to make the simple syrup, despite the fact that the mint was simply thirty footsteps or so away. I’m working on it friends, everyday presents me with the opportunity to be better than the day before. But nonetheless, here is your recipe and its the desire of my heart that this syrup will make its way into your evening tea, top off your backyard cocktails, be drizzled over that ice cream nightcap or just a shot in your morning coffee. I hope that was enough inspiration to pause Netflix and get to work! Let me know your latest herb concoction in the comments or how would use this recipe to bring some joy to your life?
Chocolate Mint Simple Syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup filtered warm water (tap if you must)
1/2 ounce chocolate mint (rinsed, stems & all)
1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Chocolate Extract
smidgen of kosher salt
1. Over medium heat, combine the sugar, salt and water, whisk together until most of the sugar dissolves. Add the rinsed mint with stems and leaves, you may chop it up if you like, but not necessary.
2. Bring syrup to a simmer for about 6 minutes or so, remove it from the heat, stir in chocolate extract and allow it to come to room temperature before storing it. I didn’t have some ‘cool bottle’ to put it so I sprung for one of favorite storage vessels, my Weck jars. Order them here.
Note: I stored this simple syrup at room temp in a cool place (but not the fridge) for two weeks and it kept beautifully. Also, try a little bit of this in your Mint Julep for a new twist!