Simple syrup is an excellent technique to know in the kitchen. It’s a standard addition to drinks, and an excellent culinary tool for exquisite desserts.

3 Tbsp cracked peppercorn blend
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water

1. Place sugar, water and peppercorn blend in a small pot and bring to a boil. Stir a few times.

2. Once sugar is dissolved, take pot off the heat and let cool. Leave the peppercorns in the syrup to create a stronger flavor; strain them out when it is spiced to taste. Refrigerate syrup in a sealed container; lasts 1 month.

Mocktail Formulas with Peppered Simple Syrup

For each mocktail, combine the non-carbonated ingredients in a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake vigorously for 1 minute; strain into an ice-filled glass. Top off with any carbonated ingredient listed.

1.5 oz peppered simple syrup
1.5 oz tart lemonade
3 oz fresh grapefruit juice
Garnish: cracked pepper

1.5 oz peppered simple syrup
1.5 oz tart cherry juice
3 oz fresh orange juice
Garnish: fresh rosemary

1.5 oz peppered simple syrup
1.5 oz pomegranate juice
3 oz lemon-lime or club soda
Garnish: lemon twist