Sumac and Saffron Spritzer

Sumac and Saffron Spritzer


YIELD:
1 CUP

PREPARATION

    1. Grind the saffron with 2 Tbsp. of sugar to a fine powder using a mortar and pestle.
    2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 cup (240 ml) water, sugar, cardamom, and powdered saffron mixture and bring to simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in the sumac. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let it steep for 30 minutes, no more. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth over a medium bowl.  You may need to strain the liquid one more time to remove all sumac grains.
    3.  Pour into clean jar or bottle.  Store in the refrigerator.
    4. To serve, fill a tall glass with ice.  Add 1 tablespoon of syrup, fill glass with chilled club soda.  You may want more or less of syrup depending on individual preference.

Cooks’ Note

    1. This syrup would be fun to add to sparkling wine.  And of course this beverage is just asking for a “touch” of vodka!
    2. Use syrup to drizzle over lamb, shellfish, yogurt and ice cream!  Add to salad dressings too.
    3. Avoid steeping the sumac for too long or its tannins will make the syrup bitter. Saffron is ground to a fine powder using a little sugar as an abrasive. Grinding saffron increases the amount of color and flavor extracted than would be achieved if the strands were used directly. Club soda if used, adds a second note of acidity from the carbonic acid as well as the crackling sound of bubbles.
    4. Credit to Epicurious.com for original recipe.

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