Ah, the smell of Evergreens … This is a scent that can transport you to a winter landscape. Even if you live in a tropical place like us, there are ways you can feel like you’re on a mountain overlooking snow-covered trees.
My latest favorite is crystallized Spruce needles and with those, Spruce Syrup!
As part of the Spruce Exploration Deep Dive in the Inner Sanctum Library, I crystallized some real Spruce tips and made a simple syrup with them. (If you don’t have any Spruce trees near you, you can order them from a beer supplier here.) I imagined I was a homesteader or wilderness person, wishing to preserve the feeling of Spruce, the smell of winter into a simple syrup—since I don’t have maple trees to tap. It’s been the best addition to my water.
A simple syrup is just sugar and water together in a 1:1 ratio. So, I boiled water and added the sugar till it dissolved, as I did for the crystallization project. I immersed the remaining Spruce sprigs, wood, and needles, along with the rest of the sugar mix I had used. Simmering on the stove, I kept it on low so I wouldn’t lose the essential oils. I must say it smelled like something delicious was cooking! After a few hours, I had to add more water as it thickened! So I added more water and left it overnight in the fridge. Then I simmered it again the next day till it smelled perfect and was the right consistency.
Once it cooled, I strained out the spent needles and let it cool further before decanting it into my bottle.
I now use it to flavor and sweeten my daily water glasses.
Watch Sylla share why she loves her Spruce syrup so much.
First, I add some warm water in the bottom of a large tumbler. Then I add about a tablespoon of syrup, mixing it and adding ice. Finally, I top it off with room-temperature distilled water (my choice).
There are many ways to use this simple syrup! It could be used in hot tea. It could also be caramelized till it’s thick and brown—to be drizzled over desserts … The uses are endless.
I already know I should have made more …
Have you ever crystallized an Evergreen? How do you like to use it? Tell us all about it below!