Dear Joe,

Dear Joe,
Christmas and Thanksgiving have ended and I have some left over syrup flavoring that aren’t going to work in January. What should I do with all of this pumpkin, gingerbread, and peppermint syrup?



Things never seem to go exactly the way we plan, and leftovers do show up. This is inevitable, but the bright side is that there are plenty of applications for leftover holiday flavorings. Some cafes are very quick to toss out unused goods and half empty bottles of syrup that will just take up space. This is bad economics, plain and simple.

The first step in dealing with your leftovers is to find out if your unopened bottles of syrup or sauce will expire within a year. If the expiration for your gingerbread chai base is October of 2013, then find a good storage spot and wait for next year. Keep in mind that this concept will only apply to unopened goods. As soon as the air comes in contact with your products, the shelf life plunges. So what should you do with the opened stuff?

There are tons of recipes out there that will allow you to use your soon to expire goods for other holidays. If you think your peppermint will make it until Valentine‚Äôs Day, use it then. If your gingerbread syrup isn’t going to last until next year, then continue to offer some of the holiday drinks. People will not quit buying their favorite yuletide treat just because Christmas is over. Also consider that syrups and sauces can be used in baked goods. Develop a recipe that incorporates the convenient ingredient and slip those treats in among the others.

For more great recipe ideas visit

Yours in coffee,

Josephius A. Graham
Stockton Graham & Co.