Whenever we have fresh fruit on hand we make the absolute most of it. In New York we're constantly reminded how fleeting the seasons are and how little time we have each year to enjoy our favorite fruits before it's too hot or too cold for them to grow. With that in mind, we've developed these syrups to use every last bit—from the pit to the peel—of our favorite fruits.
They are a welcome addition to cocktails and mocktails, making drinks taste brighter and more powerfully fruity, or they can be drizzled over ice cream for a dessert that's as luxurious as it is easy. Even if your favorite fruits aren't on store shelves and at farmers markets as you read this, you can prolong their season—at least in your own kitchen—by stashing pits and peels in zipper-lock bags in your freezer. Once you've accumulated enough, and you're missing sunshine and warm weather more than ever, get to work on these recipes.
It's always a little disappointing to get to the pit of a mango, realizing just how much of the sweet and juicy fruit is taken up by the inedible stone. This syrup puts the large pits to good use, mixing them with mango peels, lemon rind, and sugar. After the sugar has dissolved, press the mixture through a mesh strainer, and you're left with a beautiful golden syrup.
Once you've squeezed all the juice from your lemons, save the rinds to make this lemon syrup—or, as we like to call it, sunshine in a bottle. Since you won't add any juice to the combination of rinds and sugar, the syrup leans more sweet than sour, with a powerful lemony flavor that will bring dimension to everything you add it to.
The summer cherry haul always feels painfully short, so when the season comes around, we squeeze every drop from our bounty—literally. All there is to do is toss the pits with sugar, and wait patiently as the sugar begins to draw flavor from the bits of meaty fruit still clinging to each pit. The optional addition of a drop or two of rose water and almond extract will complement the sweet cherry flavor.
This rich, amber-hued syrup doesn't require any cooking. Instead, the acidity in the pineapple cores dissolves the added sugar, creating a thick, flavorful syrup. Add the liquid to your gin and tonic, or use it to put a pineapple twist on Lemon Chantilly and Crispy Candied Pistachios.
If you've already missed peak mango season and you can't find a single cherry at the grocery store, let this lime syrup tide you over. Limes are pretty much always available, and though this syrup is intended to be mixed into a tart limeade, it works just as well poured into a nice strong drink. Much like our lemon syrup, this one relies on the rinds instead of the juice, so you'll be left with a syrup that is wonderfully citrusy but not unbearably sour.
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