Boozy spiced orange syrup

Homemade Citrus Syrup for your Pancakes

Hello dear reader,

Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday and for lots of us that means one thing – pancakes!

I’ve used the same pancake recipe for about 30 years now – gosh that makes me feel old but I did start cooking at a young age!
A couple of months ago Boy (aged 7) and I made up a huge batch of these pancakes to test some maple syrups I’d been sent to review. Once we’d had our fill of maple syrups, I craved a pancake with the traditional British filling of butter, sugar and lemon juice.

Alas! No lemon juice in the fridge and no lemons in the fruit bowl!

Then I remembered the lemon citrus syrup I’d made at Christmas. It turns out serving this on pancakes is a match made in heaven! Mr Vohn looked on enviously, as he’d already finished his pancakes – I laughed and reminded him I always say he eats too fast! He was even more gutted when he realised there was also a jar of homemade boozy spiced orange citrus syrup sitting there in the kitchen!

So, yesterday I made up another batch of pancakes so Mr Vohn could try the citrus syrup & pancake combo and, oh yes, he agrees – a divine pairing. I added a little freshly chopped mint to mine to give it extra zing!

Pancake with lemon syrup and mint

I came up with these citrus syrups when I made candied citrus peel as a Christmas gift for my mother. The recipe said to discard the sugar syrup that the peel was candied in and didn’t even mention what to do with the fruit pulp. I can’t bring myself to throw food away, so came up with these syrups as a way to use up the leftovers. Here is how I made the boozy spiced orange syrup…

Boozy Spiced Orange Citrus Syrup – recipe
– 5 oranges
– 350g sugar
– 3 tbsp orange liqueur (e.g. Cointreau)
– 1 star anise
– 5 juniper berries


1) Wash oranges in warm water. Cut off the top and bottom.

Slice off base

2) Score a cut into the orange peel, but not into the flesh, at various points around the orange so that you can gently peel off sections of peel.

Peel off quartered peels

Peel quarters

3) Scrape away as much pith as possible from the peel and discard the pith

Scrape off pith

4) Place the peel into a pan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for ten minutes. Drain and rinse the peel and then repeat this process a further two times. This removes any excess bitterness.

5) Place 350g sugar and 200ml water into a wide shallow pan – I used my frying pan. Cook over a low heat until the sugar has melted. Increase heat, bring to the boil, add peel and turn heat down to simmer gently for one hour. If sugar crystals form on the sides of the pan, brush them down with a wet pastry brush.

6) Meanwhile take the peeled oranges and cut off the remaining white pith. Then cut out segments of fruit by cutting between the membranes. Once segmented, squeeze the remaining membrane to yield as much juice as possible.

Peeled orange

Naked orange

Orange segments and juice

7) Remove peel from the sugar syrup – this is the candied peel and can be left to dry on a baking rack for a few days, then stored in an airtight container.

Add the juice from the oranges to the sugar-syrup and simmer for ten minutes. Place the orange segments in a sterilised jar, pour over the sugar-syrup and add the liqueur and spices. Mix together, leave to cool and then store in a cool dark place.

Boozy spiced orange citrus syrup

This is a nice recipe to experiment with – you might like to try different citrus fruits, different alcohols and different spices. I also made a lemon citrus syrup but wanted it to zing with fresh lemon, so didn’t add any liqueur or spices to it.

Mr Vohn likes the boozy oranges on his pancake.

Pancake with boozy orange syrup

Yes I did go all soppy and make him a heart-shaped pancake!

OXO UK had sent me their new pancake batter dispenser to test out and I found it is great for making shaped pancakes. Simply fill the dispenser with your pancake batter (it has a nice wide neck to make this easy) and squeeze to dispense the batter. The special valve stops the batter coming out as soon as you stop squeezing, so there are no drips!

Oxo batter dispenser

   Oxo batter nozzle

Using the batter dispenser makes it easy to create outlines of shapes in your frying pan and then infill the shape with more batter. It also has a handy stand, with a flat base, so you can store any unused batter in the fridge. I really liked the dispenser for the ease in making shaped pancakes and it’s great for making small thick Scotch pancakes, or drop scones. I didn’t like using it to make larger crepe-style pancakes as I found it difficult to tilt the pan at the same time as dispensing, so they ended up too thick. OXO also say it is great for filling muffin or cupcake tins – I haven’t tried this out yet but reckon it’d be ideal for avoiding those pesky spills which burn – of course your mixture would have to be smooth enough to dispense.

My own preference for the pancakes and syrup was larger thinner crepe-style pancakes with my homemade lemon syrup and a scattering of freshly chopped mint leaves.

Pancake with lemon syrup and mint

If you would prefer a savoury pancake, then check out the awesome Chilli Beef pancakes that I made for pancake day last year. Mr Vohn has requested these again this year, so we’ll be having them tomorrow night for dinner. To continue our quest for healthier eating this year, I’ll be adding a lot more veg to them and hopefully I’ll be doing a better job with the photos too!

So tell me, dear reader, will you be having pancakes this week and will you be going savoury or sweet?




  1. I love making homemade syrups. Your recipe looks very easy and I like the idea that it is flexible so you can use the fruits in season. The Boozy Spiced Orange Syrup is wonderful to serve with brunch or on a pound cake for dessert, yum!

    • Thanks Joanne – so kind of you to pop by and comment. That is a brilliant idea to have it on cake! [Vohn heads to kitchen to make cake!] 😀

    • Thanks for popping by Michele. It’s a brilliant wake-up and you can make it as sweet or as tangy as you like! 🙂

  2. Great recipe – and one you can use for more than just pancakes, of course. There’s a host of sweets that this would be great for.

    • Yes indeed Chris. I didn’t even have pancakes in mind when I first made it – but it is a wonderful match! Vohn x

  3. This will definitely teach any fast eaters to eat slowly and savour their pancakes and crepes. It looks divine Vohn 😀

    • Well you would think so wouldn’t you Lorraine but Mr Vohn sat and watched me for ten minutes last night, as I finished my dinner, making comments like “that was delicious” , “I’ll finish that off for you if you like” and “are you sure you split them equally” – it was him who served up! Vohn x

  4. Boozy oranges on pancake sounds great!

    • Thanks Chris! I’m a much bigger fan of lemon than orange but they were both delicious! Vohn x

  5. Your citrus syrup looks delicious. I love crepes with lemon and sugar and would really enjoy eating this. Am bookmarking this recipe. Beautiful photo too.

    • Thank you Tina! Your photos are always amazing, so that means a lot to me! Vohn x

  6. Love it! Added it to my pinterest! 🙂

    • Brilliant! Glad you like it Kavey. Vohn x

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