Food Artisans: Morris Kitchen

Food Artisans

A different New York artisan every week.

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[Photograph: Stephanie Klose]

Even those of us lucky enough to have a sibling we adore might think twice about launching a business with him or her, considering the lifetime's worth of squabbles and power struggles that could complicate an already stressful start-up environment. Not so for Tyler and Kari Morris, the brother-sister duo behind Morris Kitchen. "We work really well together," Kari says, "I can't really imagine doing it with anyone else."

The two went from hosting dinner parties together to catering, then decided that they "wanted a tangible good to make and share with people." Their small-batch ginger syrup was the result.

The siblings get together two or three times a week to carry out a process Kari describes as "procure-clean-juice-strain-boil-skim-bottle-cool-label-stamp-deliver and repeat." They also take time away from their other pursuits (Tyler is sous chef at The Breslin and Kari organizes art fairs and in involved with teaching kids about healthy eating) to test products they may introduce in the future, including, but not limited to, other syrups. "We're always cooking, always trying new things," Kari says.

While the syrup is delicious mixed with seltzer for fresh ginger ale, drizzled over ice cream, or used in one of the entree or dessert recipes posted on their website, Kari says she uses the syrup most for seasonal cocktails. In the Zozobra, she adds a bit of spice to the strong/sweet/tart cocktail formula by infusing the ginger syrup with a bit of chili pepper, making it just the thing to heat up an icy February evening.

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