This time last year, I was a judge at the Virginia Food & Beverage Expo in Richmond. One product that did not place but was nevertheless very impressive was called Keep It Simple Syrup (or KISS for short), an all-natural simple syrup infused with spearmint.
Being the debaucherous sort that I am, my mind immediately went to mint juleps and mojitos. Who wants to muddle mint and make simple syrup at home when you can simply add a splash of this delicious syrup to your beverage? I’ve tried it in those applications and give it my seal of approval.
But KISS founder Susan Martinson of Richmond points out that there are many other uses for her product. It can be used to sweeten iced tea or flavor hot cocoa, whipped cream, ice cream, a number of baked treats and more.
Best of all, Keep It Simple Syrup is made in Virginia and carries the Virginia’s Finest trademark. It is fat-free, gluten-free, high fructose corn syrup-free, and certified kosher. For a while, it was hard to find in our part of the state, but now Martinson has made it available in multiple ABC stores and Kroger stores throughout the region. It is available in both 700 ML bottles and 350 ML bottles.
If you do decide to try KISS in mint juleps, the time is now! It is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, which is on May 4 this year.
Here’s a list of stores that carry KISS, according to Martinson:
Daleville: Botetourt Commons, 56 Kingston Dr.
Christiansburg: Peppers Ferry Shopping Center, 290 Peppers Ferry Road
Hardy: 12990 Booker T. Washington Highway
Lynchburg: Lynchburg Hill Plaza Shopping Center, 2118 Wards Road
Boonsboro Shopping Center, 4925 Boonsboro Road.
Chatham: Tightsqueeze Plaza Shopping Center, Hwys 29 & 703, Route 2
Roanoke: 5050 Rutgers Street, Towers Shopping Center, 646 Brandon Avenue. S. W.
Kroger stores (look near wine):
903 University City Blvd.
1322 South Main Street
555 North Franklin Street
72 Kingston Drive
15069 Forest Road
80 Westlake Road
4222 East Nelson Street
4119 Boonsboro Road
4488 Electric Road
3971 Brambleton Avenue
3970 Valley Gateway Blvd.
614 Brandon Avenue
4404 Brambleton Avenue
To read more about KISS and to see many cocktails and other recipes that can be made with the syrup, click here.