I am a sucker for summer beverages. I love a good refreshing cocktail, beer, sangria, champagne or prosecco cocktails, agua fresca, etc. Most times it is either the bubblies or the fruit that really attracts me. If you can get them both together in one drink, even better. I love a good, subtly sweet carbonated beverage.
I don’t drink much alcohol these days, I reserve that for special occasions, but I still love having fun with my drinks at home. Although making fruit infused simple syrups is one of my favorite things, I really don’t love consuming refined sugar, even if it is organic and raw, etc. Sure, you can absolutely just let the fresh fruit infuse or you can muddle it right into water, sparkling or flat, without any sweetener. But, there is something about the subtle sweetness from an infused simple syrup, even in the smallest amount, that gets me every time. Obviously I don’t consume traditional HFCS laced soda’s anymore, so I prefer to just make them myself at home.
In an effort to try making a fruity simple syrup without my usual raw organic sugar, I gave some local raw honey a try instead and I am sooo excited about the results. This strawberry honey syrup is thick, perfectly sweet and full of incredible flavors from both the fresh strawberries and the good quality local raw honey.
I would personally suggest always consuming raw honey over the processed stuff. Even though you cook it down in this recipe, raw honey is still the better choice. Raw honey provides a slew of amazing benefits, but regular pasteurized honey is processed with damaging levels of heat stripping it of these beneficial properties through the heating process, making it just as unhealthy as refined sugar. Also, many times store bought pasteurized honey is actually cut with corn syrup. YUCK! I prefer to get my raw honey from a local farmer, either at the farmers market or a local grocery store.
Obviously since we are heating up the raw honey to make this syrup and infuse it with the strawberries you do lose some of the full effects of the raw honey in it’s natural state, but this is still so much better than starting with pasteurized honey. Check out this great post on Three Things We Need to Know about Honey or this post on How To Melt Raw Honey to use as-is to preserve the full benefits.
This week the strawberries from the farmers market were soo incredible, that I bought a ton of them in fears they wouldn’t be around next week. I think that might be a form of hoarding, no? So after eating some straight up, making these parfaits again and adding some to juices and smoothies, I decided to use the rest in this syrup.
I have just been adding about 1 – 2 tablespoons of this to a tall glass of sparkling mineral water, adding some ice and having a deliciously refreshing homemade soda. My soda-loving hubby absolutely adores this drink. This syrup would also be really good drizzled over yogurt, granola, ice cream, etc.
I have a feeling I will be making lots of honey simple syrups this summer, the fruit and herb combinations are endless.
Do you love summertime drinks? What’s your favorite?
Strawberry Honey Simple Syrup – Gluten-free + Refined Sugar-free
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 pint fresh organic strawberries, hulled and roughly sliced or chopped
In a medium-sized saucepan, add water and honey, turn on a medium heat. Let it start to warm up and give it a few stirs until the honey and water mix together and the honey begins to dissolve. Then add the strawberries. You don’t want it to ever come to a complete boil, but let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the strawberries are nice and mushy and broken down.
Turn off the heat and let it all steep for another 10 minutes, then strain out the strawberry mush*. Once the syrup is cooled, pour into a glass bottle or jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
To Make Homemade Strawberry Soda – add 1 to 2 tablespoons of this syrup to a tall glass of sparkling mineral water. Stir and top with ice.
*You can certainly mash the strawberries up and just leave them right in the syrup if you wish, as well. I just wanted a nice clear syrup for sodas, etc.[/print_this]