Tequila Simple Syrup

Temps des Fêtes 2016
food and drink

BY: Michelle P. E. Hunt and Laura Panter

Cocoa nibs are a popular product in baking because they are chocolate in its purest form. Essentially dried pieces of cacao beans, their flavour is bitter chocolate—even a bit nutty—without being sweet. In order to create the rich syrup we were looking for, we used agave nectar, which is sweeter than sugar and also lends a more viscous texture to the liquid. Once we balanced out those tastes, we decided this recipe needed a kick, and fresh red chilis did the trick. You can customize the heat level for your tequila lover—the longer you leave the chili in to steep, the spicier it becomes. If you want just a tiny bit of heat, leave the chili in for just a minute or two.

To a heatproof jar, add 2 tsp (10 mL) cocoa nibs, 1 red Thai chili pepper (or similar hot pepper) sliced through the middle but not halved, 1 oz agave nectar or syrup, 3 oz sugar and ½ cup (125 mL) boiling water. Stir to dissolve the sugar and allow to cool. Put in a lidded jar and store in the fridge for 4 to 24 hours (test with a small spoon every few hours to customize heat level, remove chili once achieved). Strain out liquid into a decorative bottle for gifting, discarding the solids.

Makes approx. 8 cocktails using 1 oz of syrup