Festive coffee syrups

It’s been just a few days since we all stood on our doorsteps to wave goodbye to the universal guest that is Christmas and we’re all well and truly skint. With bank accounts being low, the craving to spend money increases and the near arctic conditions outside get me thinking of my one weakness – take-away coffee.

The equivalent to Batman’s batarang or Green Lantern’s power ring, caffeine gives me superhuman powers to help me take on the day. Lattes, cappuccinos, iced coffee, tea, the lot – caffeine is my one true Kryptonite.

In Summer I wrote a blog on the daily torture of restricting myself from splurging on take-away coffees which pains me to my dark roasted coffee bean core. In said blog, iced coffees were the focus but now with the sun well and truly hidden behind the winter skies, hot drinks are needed in force.

With the temperature plummeting, my craving for coffee goes through the roof. There’s something about the smells of pumpkin spice or hazelnut syrup that swirls round well known coffee shops that beats the standard cup of home brewed Kenco.

But I know all too well that a coffee here and there a little too often soon adds up and devours those prized pennies.

Keep that cash in your pocket and edge away from the barista (let’s face it, they’ll spell your name wrong anyway). I’m going to give you the scoop on how to make your own coffee syrups to feed that sweet craving which will improve your home brew and take a bit of weight off your weekly spending.

This month I’ve been busy ruining pans creating a selection of syrups to make a killer peppermint mocha, spicy gingerbread latte and a soothing vanilla flat white. If you don’t have a fancy coffee machine to create your drink of choice – coffee granules, sachets and hot chocolate powder work just as well. If tea is more your thing, add the gingerbread syrup to a black tea – oocha boy it’s rare!

I’ll leave you with the recipe in the meantime, I have some pans to scrub …

What you’ll need to make:

310ml of syrup (simply double, triple etc to make more):

  • 1 large saucepan

  • 117.5ml cold water

  • 100g sugar

For the flavourings:

  • Cool mint syrup = 1 tsp of peppermint extract
  • Classic vanilla syrup = 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Warming gingerbread syrup = 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp allspice, ¼ tsp ground cloves. FYI, now is your time to get these spices with ASDA doing 2 for £2 on them all.

How to make:

  1. Add sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, stirring often

  2. Simmer for 15 minutes with an occasional stir

  3. Take off the heat and allow to cool

  4. Once cooled add in the flavour (for the gingerbread syrup, add in flavourings at step 2)

  5. Empty into a glass bottle (Hobby Craft or The Range are your place for these)

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