Five fun foodstuffs: Syrups

00:54, Oct 16 2012
SYRUPS TO SLURP: Gusto Tart Apple Syrup, Heilala Vanilla Syrup, Kapiti Kitchen Rhubarb & Ginger Syrup, Lowry Peaks Quince Splashing Syrup.

Syrups are big in food these days - here are five favourites, including a DIY balsamic syrup to wow your friends with.

Kapiti Kitchen Rhubarb & Ginger Syrup (RRP$6.50 for 300ml): This is from a range of all-natural fruit syrups made in Kapiti by Sue Graafland, who decided she was on to something special when her homemade lemonade garned rave reviews at a school gala. The refreshingly tart and slightly spicy - and naturally pink - syrup is great with hot or cold water and fabulous drizzled over vanilla ice cream. Other flavours in the range include Elderflower and Manuka Honey & Ginger. See Kapiti Kitchen for stockists.

Lowry Peaks Quince Splashing Syrup (RRP$24): To really make the most of this lovely syrup, which is more than 50 per cent quince juice from quinces grown in north Canterbury, try a DIY quince martini. Mix two parts vodka with one to two parts quince syrup. Shake over ice then strain into a martini glass. Cheers! See Lowry Peaks for stockists.

Heilala Vanilla Syrup (RRP$14.95 for 250ml): This is no ordinary vanilla syrup - there's a whole vanilla pod in the bottle so the flavour intensifies over time. Heilala Vanilla sources its organic, sustainably farmed, vanilla pods from a plantation in Tonga. One whiff of this syrup and you'll be ditching the fake vanilla essence for good. Drizzle this on cakes, over ice cream or sip from a spoon when no one's looking. See Heilala Vanilla for stockists.

Gusto Tart Apple Syrup (RRP $14 for 250ml): Sunday morning breakfasts will never be the same after you splash this over your bacon and pancakes. It's made from New Zealand apples and offers a massively concentrated shot of pure apple flavours. See Stams for stockists.

DIY Balsamic Syrup: Pour 250ml balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and add three tablespoons of white sugar. Bring to the boil over medium heat, then simmer gently for five to 10 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half. Let cool and pour into a sterilised container. Cover tightly and store in the fridge. Drizzle over strawberries, mix with extra virgin olive oil for a simple salad dressing or use in marinades.