New and unusual kitchen products pass through our test kitchen all the time—spice blends, cooking utensils, books, spirits. Every once in a while, something comes across my desk that really stands out; most recently, it was a bottle of eucalyptus syrup from Humberto Marques, a.k.a. "The Bartist," a Copenhagen-based bartender with a line of custom cocktail syrups. Inspired by the eucalyptus tea his mother made for him as a child during the cold months in Portugal, Marques developed an all-natural eucalyptus syrup to use in his cocktails while working at Edinburgh's Oloroso Restaurant in 2004. A simple combination of water and sugar with an infusion of fresh eucalyptus leaves, it has a sweet, herbal flavor with a bitter, slightly medicinal finish that adds balance and depth to all kinds of drinks. I love it added to hot tea, mixed with club soda, or used to add a dose of citrusy, herbal flavor to cocktails like the Kindred Spirit, a twist on the classic Angostura fizz.
Eucalyptus syrup, $13 at thebartist.com