I made these for my sister last year for Christmas, in 3 flavours - strawberry, orange and peach. They're ludicrously easy and cheap to make, and look gorgeous as a gift! All you have to do is make sure you have air tight, sterilised (either put through a hot cycle on your dishwasher, or washed in hot soapy water and left to dry WITHOUT you touching the cap or the rim!) bottles, and a fine sieve.
My bottles (I got them from a home brewing shop for about $3AUD each) were quite small and held about 250ml each so I used about double that amount of water, and free poured a healthy amount of sugar in that looked like about half to me - you can obviously be a lot more accurate! This is the first step to any sugar syrup, must be done before you add any fruit to the pan - you'll see how I made each flavour below.
I used all the peaches we had in the house as they were looking a bit worse for wear and I didn't really want to eat them - so I used about 5 of them! Put them whole in the pan making sure they were mostly submerged. If they're not just pop in every now and again to move them around in the water. I used a fork to smoosh them up to extract as much flavour as I could.
I topped a big punnet of strawberries that were on special and put them whole into the water. You'll notice after a while the strawberries will lose their colour. Once this has happened, take them out and continue to reduce the syrup until you're happy with the amount.
I zested 2 oranges and then juiced them, and added it to the water. This was then boiled down until it was reduced by about half.
These can also be used to give Greek yoghurt an edge when serving it with cakes or on your muesli in the morning, or added to soda water to make your own cordial. How delicious would it be to drizzle some orange syrup over a chocolate cake fresh from the oven? The sky is the limit with these sweet compact flavour bombs!
I'd love to know what else you can use these for aside from cocktails!