Homemade Herbal Simple Syrups

Sometimes you just want to liven up your morning coffee with something different! In Jordan, coffee is often flavoured with cardamom pods, usually ground right along with the beans. There’s a really satisfying balance between the two flavours, with the cardamom adding just a hint of an herbal caramel flavour.

Not too long ago, Starbucks offered a drink called the Vanilla Spice Latte. I tried it on a whim and there it was, that beautiful cardamom flavour. They quickly discontinued it, so I figured FINE, I’ll just make my own!

The great thing about the following recipe is you can swap out any herbs you’d like and still get a great result. This infused simple syrup recipe is not only the perfect addition to coffee, but try adding it to cakes and cocktails for some really outstanding flavours. I buy boxed vanilla cake, add a hint of this syrup to the batter and the flavour is out of this world.

And there, I just gave away my secret cake recipe. YOU’RE WELCOME.


Step 1: Gather your ingredients. You’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup whole cardamom pods (or other spices – try anise or lemon balm!)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar


Step 2: Add the cardamom & water to a small saucepan and bring it to a boil.


Step 3: Add the sugar and stir until the its completely dissolved.


Step 4: Take the mixture off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.


Step 5: Transfer to a container and let the whole thing steep in the fridge for 2 to 4 days. The longer it steeps, the stronger the flavour. I personally think it tastes best after 3 days. A lot will depend on what you use to flavour the syrup.


Step 6: Using a slotted spoon, skim off the cardamom pods. If you have a big enough funnel & strainer, you can skip this step.

61861wStep 7: Pour the syrup through a strainer to get rid of all the bits. As always, I prefer glass bottles for my various concoctions since they don’t alter the flavour of what you make, but you do you.

If you want to be like me, the one I’m using is the London Drugs 1L Clear Glass Bottle (not an inventive name!), but you can also get a similar bottle from IKEA with the much more fun name of KORKEN. Get it? Because it has a stopper? KORKEN.


You’re ready to enjoy! Add it to everything and anything – drizzle it on ice cream! Or cookies! Add it to your favourite cocktail! Make a dessert bread!


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