"You can't see or talk to a menehune until you…
One of our favorite ways to sweeten up a cocktail – whether it is a tiki cocktail or not – is with Clement Sirop de Canne. It is a cane sugar syrup made by reducing freshly squeezed sugar cane juice and infusing it with vanilla, cinnamon and allspice. It’s not an easy product to come by, so we usually make our own version of it ourselves. Now, we don’t have a field full of sugar cane sitting around, nor do we have the ability to juice enough of what we can buy at the store (yes, you can buy small chunks at many grocery stores, believe it or not!), so instead we start with ordinary cane sugar and make it into a simple syrup.
Once we have our syrup, we add in whole cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and a real vanilla bean. These spices are simmered in the syrup to help them release their flavor, then left to infuse in the syrup at least overnight. You can strain out your spices if you prefer, but we usually leave them in the bottle. When the syrup is chilled and ready to use, it is so delicious that you’re going to want to use it for everything from flavoring coffee to pouring on waffles. And for making drinks, of course.
Homemade Spiced Syrup
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
6-inches of whole cinnamon stick, broken coarsely
1 tsp whole cloves (approx 20-24)
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
In a medium sized saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring to ensure that the sugar is dissolved completely. Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before using.
Makes about 3 1/2 cups