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That picture is the incredible residue from making Black Pepper Syrup. The syrup is for beverages. There is a beverage idea just below and a full blown beverage recipe coming tomorrow.

I investigate several black peppery syrup recipes but this is the one I like because it uses far more pepper — a full ½ cup of peppercorns for only about 3 ounces of syrup. Cooked in water and sugar, the leftover peppercorns are soft and little sweet. Do NOT throw them away. Go buy a great steak, and enjoy a Steak au Poive with a sweet bite. These peppercorns are meant to adorn meat and they contribute mightily to the steak sauce you’ll be making.

Now, how to use this syrup. One suggestion, from Food and Wine Cocktails 2013, is double down. Pour a glass of Drambuie, which is already rocket fuel class, and then add shots of both this Black Pepper Syrup and the Habanero Honey Syrup that has been blogged here. What you will have there is confluence of flavors sure to astonish your sensory system. By “shot” I mean you should experiment to get just the layering and lingering of flavors that you enjoy. It’s quite personal and definitely hot.

The shot of flavorless vodka suggested in the recipe is to give longer life to your syrup. Without the alcohol, the syrup will refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. With the vodka, you’ll surely have another 2 weeks of safe usage. And with this small a volume and the wonderful flavor, I expect this syrup will quickly be absorbed into your beverage history long before a month has passed.


Black Pepper Syrup

Yield: 3+ ounces


  • 4 ounces of water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup black peppercorns
  • ½ ounce flavorless vodka


In a small saucepan, combine the water sugar and peppercorns. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Once at a boil, reduce the heat to a moderately low and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the syrup into a jar. Let cool. Add the vodka. Tightly seal and refrigerate for up to one month.

Source: Food & Wine Cocktails 2013

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60MM Macro Lens, F/2.8, 1/100th second, ISO-1600