Agave syrup is a nutritious syrup that comes directly from the plant of the same name–it has become famous over time for its delicious taste that is somewhat similar to honey. The plant is a succulent found mainly in Mexico, but there are varieties of the agave plant found in South Africa, as well.
Agave syrup is sourced primarily from two different varieties of agave—blue and salmiana. The former, whose scientific name is agave tequilana, has already made its mark as a key ingredient in the fabrication of, unsurprisingly, tequila. Both varieties, however, are increasingly being harvested for their sweet natural juice. Natural syrups sourced from blue agave are often considered superior and are usually the more highly sought after.
What Should Agave Be Used For?
Agave syrup can be used as a natural sweetener, and it offers a healthy alternative to more commonly used refined sugar options. It's a hands-down winner in drinks, and we’ve made it a key feature in our range of Skinny Mixes alternative sauces. By harnessing the power of agave to replace sugar, our drinks boast some truly healthy credentials. The calorie bank won’t be broken by only thirty calories per bottle, meaning you can spice up your cocktails and be guilt-free! Agave is also commonly used to add hits of sweetness to hot tea and coffee, but it is even more impressive in cold drinks because, unlike some traditional sweeteners, it is fully dissolvable in cold liquids.
Agave syrup is also used in modern-day cooking where entrepreneurial chefs seek to provide new taste experiences while being mindful of an increasingly health-conscious clientele.
Agave is usually separated into three types of varieties, sometimes referred to as grades—light, amber, and dark. The differences in color and consistency appear once the filtration process is completed; the properties and benefits of each of these varieties vary.
As the name suggests, the light variety of agave has a mild flavor and could be likened to maple syrup in consistency. This variety isn’t as strong in flavor, so it is the ideal choice to complement drinks and culinary dishes without dominating the flavor profile. Sauces to accompany fruit, drinks, salads, or smoothies would be suitably enhanced but not overpowered by light agave. It’s also a popular choice in the world of cocktails.
Amber varieties offer sweetness and flavor which is unique and stands out in much the same way as quality honey or caramel. In terms of the grades of agave, amber is considered a medium-intensity syrup. If you’re looking to provide a kick to your cocktails, smoothies, or protein drinks, this might make a perfect choice. Amber agave can also be the ideal accompanying sweetener to pancakes, waffles, and other baked goods.
Dark agave is unlikely to be stocked in supermarket aisles and is often preferred by chefs and mixologists for special occasions when a high-intensity flavor is needed. It is thicker in consistency, like molasses or dark caramel. Delicious and bringing greater tones of agave flavor than its less intense counterparts, dark agave is used sparingly because of its ability to overpower other ingredients.
If you’re wondering whether agave syrup is healthy and you’re looking for the use of agave instead of sugars in your sweeteners and syrups, look no further than Skinny Mixes–we have you covered with a wide range of zero-sugar syrups to let you sweeten just about anything you can think of, guilt-free.