Happy Holidays Everyone!
It’s been a bit of a hiatus for me, but I’m back in the saddle (a.k.a. desk chair!) and ready to keep the season’s festivities rolling along with some stellar finds for entertaining in style when it comes my favorite part of a party- the drinks! Read more →
Specifically a Wild Plum Whiskey Sour? If you answered yes (and of course you did!) then you’ll absolutely want to make this Wild Plum Simple Syrup. For those of you following the #wildplumchronicles on my Instagram, you know I’ve been knee deep (well, to the ankles at least) in wild plums. Both trees on the property decided in unison to drop their fruit on my patio, backyard, garden, walkways….you name it….it’s everywhere. At night, I hear the plums thumping down onto the roof, rolling down, and then bouncing off the barbeque below. But hey, when these little guys are this sweet and juicy, that’s music to my ears.
The trees have yielded so much fruit, it’s incredible. The picture above is only a fraction of what I’ve harvested so far. I’ve given a bunch away already to the neighbors and friends, along with making Wild Plum Jam too. I swear they multiply overnight. I can’t seem to wrangle them in fast enough! These wild plums with their imperfect skins and brilliant hues of purple and crimson are packed with flavor. Small but mighty as they say! So for this recipe, don’t even bother trying to pit them. The skins and pits will come away from the fruit during cooking. I like the tart flavor of plum, so I hold back on some of the sugar, especially when the fruit is so ripe like it is now. These nuggets will give off quite a bit of liquid too, so use less water than you normally would for a simple syrup. And if your farmer’s market or specialty grocery doesn’t have wild plums, no worries. Just use any good eating plum like a Japanese, Santa Rosa, or Black Plum. Whatever you can get your hands on.
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cups wild plums (measured in a liquid measuring cup)
Add sugar and water to medium size sauce pan. Warm over medium heat, just until the sugar has dissolved. Add the whole plums and simmer on low-medium heat uncovered for 10-12 minutes. Plums tend to be foamy when cooking, so stir frequently. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 20-30 minutes to fully infuse the syrup.
Strain pulp and liquid through a fine mesh strainer or china cap into a large bowl. Then strain that liquid again through a cheesecloth or paper towel over a smaller bowl. This will ensure the final syrup is as clear as possible and free from pulp. Allow to cool, then pour into an airtight bottle or jar. This syrup is best when used within 3-4 weeks from making it, but it can store up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator if need be.
Mix into cocktails, spoon over ice cream or pound cake, macerate fruit in it, or add a few drops to plain bubble water for refreshing sip.
3-4 wild plums + 1 for garnish
2 parts whiskey (I used a Rye Whiskey)
1 part Wild Plum Simple Syrup
1 lime, juiced
lime flavored sparkling water for topping
In a cocktail shaker, place wild plums in whole and muddle to release their juice. Add in ice, whiskey, Wild Plum Simple Syrup and lime juice. Shake well. Pour into a rocks glass over ice. Top off with lime sparkling water (I like LaCroix) and a plum garnish. Note: you can use regular plums in this drink. Since they are bigger, you’ll only need one or two for muddling.
I’m a bit simple-syrup-obsessed at the moment. You’ll find all of these in my fridge, awaiting their turn to star in my next cocktail creation! The fun part of simple syrups is you can take unusual ingredients and create drink mixers in a jiffy. The Fennel syrup is so tasty in a Bloody Mary and the Thyme syrup is used often (okay, A LOT ) right now with my new favorite Meyer Lemon & Thyme Whiskey Sour. I use the Mint syrup in my smoothies in the morning, and also a drop in an herbal tea for just a hit of minty sweetness. There are so many ways to use a simple syrup—let your mind and taste buds wander and you’ll be making syrups of all kinds before you know it.