Getting fancy in the backyard

Last week, Sarah and I signed the lease on the building that is going to be home to our new shop. This is a pretty big step for us and it means that we will be moving out of downtown into a small neighborhood on the south side where we will have a little house that is all us. I will probably talk more about the new shop later, but for now I want to focus on the backyard. Only about half of the backyard is grass, the back half of the lot is overgrown, in a good way, with trees and honeysuckle bushes. The honeysuckle stretches the perimeter of the property making a nice foliage wall. I know that honeysuckle is an invasive species and many people would find this to be a bad thing, but for our use it is pretty perfect. Having so much available honeysuckle meant one thing to me- honeysuckle cocktails. With that in mind and some help from Sarah, I picked a ton of honeysuckle blossoms and took them home to infuse a simple syrup with their delightful flavor. Here is the recipe for the syrup, stay tuned for recipes using the syrup.

Honeysuckle Simple Syrup
1qt Mason jar filled to the rim with honeysuckle blossoms
4 cups sugar
2 cups filtered water
juice of half a lemon
In a medium saucepan, combine the water and half of the sugar. Turn burner to medium high heat, stir slowly adding the remaining sugar as the other dissolves. Once all of the sugar is dissolved, add the lemon juice and remove from heat. Slowly and carefully pour into the jar over the honeysuckle blossoms. They will want to float to the top so you might need to push them down with a spoon. Let the syrup sit until it reaches room temperature then cap it and put it in the refrigerator overnight.

Once the honeysuckle syrup has chilled you will want to put it through a fine mesh strainer to remove the blossoms. You should keep the finished syrup in the refrigerator for use in drinks and desserts.

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