Fresh pine or spruce needles are the key to this fragrant syrup from herbalist Shae Whitney. The syrup is wonderful in cocktails and also excellent in tea. Slideshow: Garden-to-Glass Cocktails
Pick the pine needles off the branch. Chop the branch into 1-inch pieces and smash lightly with a rolling pin.
In a medium saucepan, combine the needles, chopped branches and water; bring to a simmer. Cook until the liquid is reduced to 1 cup, 40 minutes. Stir in the sugar until completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.
In a blender, puree the pine needle mixture for 1 minute. Strain the syrup into a jar and refrigerate for up to 1 month.
The syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.