Review: Pratt Standard Cocktail Syrups
Pratt Standard Cocktail Co. — not Pratt & Standard, which is what it kind of looks like it should be — makes a variety of syrups at its Washington, DC-based operation. These all-natural syrups are high-end offerings, some available year-round, some seasonally.
We tasted six varieties (including the two fall seasonals), all of which claim to last 6 to 12 months in the refrigerator after opening.
Pratt Standard True Rich Simple Syrup – This isn’t your typical simple syrup but rather an ultra-rich, dark brown concoction made from demerara sugar and water. (As such, it may tint your cocktail, so be warned.) It is incredibly dense, almost like molasses both on the nose and on the palate, all nutty, earthy, and with a slight coffee note. The taste of gingersnaps is absolutely unavoidable — and, good news, I love gingersnaps. Reviewed: Batch #34. A
Pratt Standard True Grenadine – Made with pomegranate, orange blossom water, and, curiously, cloves. A shade of dark maroon, the syrup has an intensity and depth that you’ll find only in some of the best grenadines on the market, though I imagine the clove element may be divisive. For me, it gives this mixer a certain holiday character that feels more fun and unique than the usual, sugar-laden stuff (and even more artisan options). Reviewed: Batch #34. A-
Pratt Standard True Ginger Syrup – This yellowish concoction looks like someone put ginger through a juicer because, well, that’s what it is, plus some sugar. Incredibly spicy with an authentic and fiery ginger punch, this is a pure expression of ginger in all its glory, right down to the earthy, peppery finish. A little of this goes an awfully long way. Reviewed: Batch #58. B+
Pratt Standard True Tonic Syrup – While most of Pratt’s products have just one or two ingredients, this “true tonic” is considerably different, an old-time recipe involving sugar, lemongrass, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, citrus peel, cinchona, anise, allspice, cloves, and saffron. It’s a complex blend of spice, fruit, and sweetness, the more pungent notes of turmeric, lemongrass, and anise taking more of a prime position on the palate — and giving the syrup a decidedly Eastern flair. It doesn’t particularly remind me of any tonic I’ve encountered in the classic sense, but that’s probably the point. Experiment carefully before serving to guests to find the right balance of flavors in your cocktail. Reviewed: Batch #32. B+
And the two seasonals…
Pratt Standard Cranberry Orange Syrup – Densely purple in color, this comes across like a Thanksgiving condiment, with cranberries and oranges both in full effect. Tart and lightly sweet, it bounces between citrus and berry notes before settling into a slightly sour groove in time for the expressive finish. A clear starting point for holiday cocktailing. Reviewed: Batch #6. A-
Pratt Standard Earl Grey Vanilla – Earl Grey tea, vanilla, and sugar — makes for an enticing combination, but it’s the black tea that, perhaps understandably, is what comes through the most clearly. The sweetness is ample but not overwhelming and the vanilla feels like it’s been applied with the deftest hand. At the end, the syrup offers a long and lingering finish that feels like it’d pair perfectly with cucumber sandwiches. Or in an Old Fashioned. Reviewed: Batch #6. A-
each $17 per 16 oz bottle / prattstandard.com
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