infused syrups

Black Peppercorn Not-So-Simple Syrup 

Hey, hot stuff! Wanna add some more moxie to your life? I’ve got just what the doctor ordered: Black Peppercorn Not-So-Simple Syrup.

Unlock your culinary creativity with flavored syrups. They will change the face of whatever you are serving. Use Black Peppercorn Not-So-Simple Syrup in or on strawberries, peaches, tea, hot chocolate, ice cream, lamb, bacon, yogurt, and cocktails (duh)—anything that needs a little kick in the pants.

For this syrup I used Tellicherry peppercorns. Tellicherry peppercorns are more robust than ordinary black peppercorns as they have been left on the vine longer. Tellicherry present citrusy, woodsy notes; toasting them intensifies their flavor even more.

As with any recipe to which you are adding pepper, the rule of thumb is that the finer you grind the pepper, the more heat you will have. I want this syrup to have a bit of kick but not overwhelm.

The amount of sugar you use dictates the syrup’s presence. The sugar : water ratio depends on how thick you want your syrup. The recipe below is what I call cocktail-grade, similar to what the awesome mixologists at #craftandvine and #finchandfifth use.

You can also adjust your type of sweetener. Brown sugar, for example, yields a deeper and darker syrup. Honey gives your syrup more depth syrup than a sugar-based syrup would. Vegan-friendly agave nectar is 1½  times sweeter than sugar, so you may want to cut your pour of syrup by ¼ or more.

If you want the piquancy of pepper without the sweetness, consider making a tincture with your favorite gin, vodka, or grain alcohol.

I hope you enjoy this Black Peppercorn Not-So-Simple Syrup. Live life on the edge by adding some to your next cocktail.  A drop in a martini is sublime. Or try making a Dirty Dalmatian.



If you make this Black Peppercorn Not-So-Simple Syrup, I’d love to hear about it!  Leave a comment below and tag #nakedepicurean on Instagram so we can celebrate together!

Black Peppercorn Not-So-Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups white sugar (or sweetener of choice)
  • 3-4 tablespoons peppercorns

Toast peppercorns on the stove in a hot, dry saucepan over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until fragrant. Add water and simmer over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add sugar; bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring, until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to steep for about 30 minutes. Once cool, pour into a clean jar with an airtight lid and refrigerate.  You may leave the peppercorns in the vessel and strain when once you have achieved desired heat.

This syrup will last up to 1 month when refrigerated in an airtight container.

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