The addition of Sichuan peppercorns, ginger, and red chile flakes adds complexity and polish to this versatile syrup. Drizzle it on pancakes, yogurt, and ice cream for an extra kick of flavor.
Yield: makes 1 3/4 Cups
1 1⁄2 lb. strawberries (about 3 pints), washed and hulled
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 (1/2-inch) slice fresh ginger
1⁄2 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
1⁄2 tsp. Sichuan peppercorns
Working in batches, pulse berries in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sugar, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Strain juices into a 2-qt. saucepan; reserve fruit for another use. Add ginger, chile flakes, and peppercorns to juice mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thick and syrupy, 30-35 minutes. Stir in remaining lemon juice and let syrup cool to room temperature. Strain and store in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
TO MAKE A SHRUB:
Combine 3 oz. syrup with ½ oz. apple cider vinegar in a tall, ice-filled glass; top with sparkling water.
TO MAKE A SHANDY:
Pour 1-2 oz. syrup in a chilled glass and top with a pale lager-style beer; garnish with a lemon slice.