I realise that this post will probably be quite divisive as you either love it or you don’t right? But did you know that licorice is thought to help with coughs and colds? So perhaps even if you aren’t an adamant licorice lover, this recipe might be worth a try!
The licorice syrup is sweet and dark and smoky, reminiscent of an Arabian souk (in a good way!). Try it poured over your favourite ice cream, in milkshakes, coffee and cocktails (try it mixed with chocolate stout and sparkling wine for a black licorice velvet) or drizzle it over chocolate cake or brownie.
I did lots of research to make this syrup, and was oh-so hopeful that I could just melt down eating licorice with water and voila! I would have a syrup but despite what I read online, you can’t do this. When I tried it, it turned into a thick grey cornfloury sludge. Yuck! So this syrup is instead based on licorice tea and other licorice-esque flavourings, which produced a much more delicious result.
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 licorice tea bags (I used Higher Living brand)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 4 whole star anise
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or you could use 1 teaspoon extract)
- Combine the water and tea bags in a small saucepan. Stand for 10 minutes. Discard tea bags.
- Add sugar, star anise, fennel and vanilla paste to pan; stir over medium heat to dissolve sugar.
- Bring to the boil; cook for about 5 minutes until reduced by ⅓. Stand for 10 minutes; strain into a clean bottle or jar. Store in the refrigerator.