4 tablespoons molasses
1½ cups sugar
3 cups hot water
zest and juice of 2 oranges (if you are able to get Seville oranges please give them a go in this recipe)
zest and juice of 1 lime
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cinnamon quills, toasted
2 star anise, toasted
½ teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
1 vanilla bean, sliced in half and scraped, use both seeds and pod
¼ teaspoon citric acid
8 medium-sized fresh kawakawa leaves
soda water, to serve
This is not a replica of the black liquid with a red label; it’s an alternative. Yes, there is still a bunch of sugar in this recipe, however I believe making things from scratch gives you a far better understanding of what you are consuming and a better ability to make decisions around this. A note on foraging: if you are going to pick your own kawakawa please make sure you are able to identify it in situ. Never ever pick wild plants and then try to identify them later.

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1.Put the molasses, sugar and hot water in a pan and heat over a medium heat until dissolved.
2.Add the remaining ingredients except the soda water.
3.Cover the pan and simmer at the lowest heat possible for 30 minutes.
4.Cool, then leave to infuse in the fridge overnight. Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth.
5.Mix with soda water at a ratio of 1 part syrup to 4 parts water.
6.Store the syrup in the fridge for up to one month.

Recipes Asher Boote, Ash Hughes / Photography Amber-Jayne Bain

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