Five-Spice Simple Syrup & My Favorite Coffee Cocktail
As far as weather goes, this time of the year is certainly… uhhhh….. the most interesting. Here in Seattle I’ve seen the weather go from a heavy downpour to blue skies and sunny then to a light drizzle during the past 30 minutes. And by the time I finish writing this post I’m sure the weather will have drastically changed at least once or twice more. C’est la vie.
While such sporadic, unpredictable, rainy, and dreary weather can make spending time outdoors rather complicated (definitely won’t be going on a picnic or hike anytime soon), I like the fact that I can still enjoy something dear to my heart: coffee based drinks. While I’ve been known to enjoy Spanish and Irish Coffees all year round, there’s just something odd about ordering a piping hot coffee cocktail when it’s 85 degrees outside (which, for Seattle, is crazy hot). I try to eat and drink according to the season, which is why I have no qualms with a bit more rain, as I can continue to enjoy hot, boozy, coffee drinks.
My new favorite coffee drink is so incredibly easy to make. It’s a spiced simple syrup, rum, and coffee. The spiced simple syrup is fast and easy to make and can be used in a ton of different drinks. Once made it will last up to a month in the refrigerator.
Five-Spice Simple Syrup
Adapted from Imbibe Magazine
- 5 whole star anise pods
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns (I couldn’t easily find these so used black peppercorns and found they worked just fine)
- 2 cups water
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
Place star anise, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorns in a ziplock bag. Seal bag and smash (I did this by hitting the bag with a rolling pin several times). Crushing the spices helps release some of the flavor. Heat a medium sized pot over medium heat (make sure the pot is completely dry). Add spices and heat, allowing them to toast (this also brings out flavor). Once they become incredibly aromatic (this won’t take long, minutes at the very most), add sugar and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool in the pot until room temperature. Strain through a very fine mesh sieve. Store in refrigerator for up to a month.
Air-runn’s Favorite Coffee
- 1/2 ounce Five-Spice Simple Syrup
- 1 1/2 ounces dark rum
- 1 cup pipping hot coffee (I prefer an Americano—2 shots of espresso and roughly 1/2-3/4 cup water depending on how strong you prefer)
Mix together all ingredients in a coffee mug and enjoy!
Is this delicious topped with whipped cream? Why yes, it is. Is it good with a splash of Irish Cream? Yup! Feel free to add either but I definitely enjoyed the taste of this without… sometimes simple is better.