a jar of fermented cherry syrup

Turn Surplus Summer Fruit Into Flavorful No-Cook Syrups

This summer in ICE New York’s Fermentation Lab, we have been experimenting with different flavors of a traditional Korean fruit syrup called cheong.

The general concept lies in combining an equal amount (by weight) of both fruit and sugar, as well as some fresh-squeezed lemon juice and allowing the mixture to mature under refrigeration for one week. (Stirring occasionally is recommended.)

The process is, for the most part, hands-off, and the result is a vibrant and flavorful fruit syrup that has not been dulled by the usual cooking process.

What you need to know before making cheong:

  • It’s important to cut your fruit into small, even pieces so that they have exposure to the sugar and release a large amount of moisture.
  • The addition of acid in the form of lemon juice helps inhibit bacteria growth, enhances the flavor and makes the resulting syrup color more pronounced.
  • Experiment with adding flavorings that pair well with the fruit you are using. In the lab, we used lemongrass, ginger, jalapeño, habanero and vanilla pods.
  • Stir and taste the syrups every few days to help any remaining sugar dissolve and to determine when you are happy with the flavor.
  • When you strain the fruit out of the syrup mixture, repurpose it for smoothies, muffins, pancake toppings, charcuterie boards or cocktails.

How To Use Your Cheong/Fruit Syrup:

  • Ice Cream Floats
  • Shaved Ice
  • Cocktails
  • Sorbets
  • Pancakes & Waffles
  • Flavored Seltzer
  • Sweetened Iced Teas
  • Sweet Glaze For Proteins
  • Fun Addition To Charcuterie Boards
  • Topping For Crusty Ricotta Toast

More like this: A Beginner's Guide to Brewing Kombucha

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