Cooking

Flavor Boost

Perk up your pantry with Joshua Tree and Jo Snow

Just in time for holiday cooking (and gifting): bold, locally made spice blends and syrups designed to add an easy jolt of flavor.

Joshua Tree Spices Chef Joshua Linton has spent his career cuisine-hopping, from Eastern Mediterranean to Southeast Asian (recently at Aja) and beyond. The happy result: a collection of spices inspired by the chef's peripatetic palate.

Season turkey with his Aleppo Chili Rub ($10.25 for 4 ounces), made with the fruity, floral Syrian chile, cinnamon, guajillo chile and thyme. Send seafood--and cocktail rims--to Southeast Asia with Chili-Lime Salt ($6 for 2 ounces), flavored with pungent kaffir lime leaves and dried lime zest. Up next, in time for the holidays: Turkish kabob spice and Mexican lime salt made with Jalisco limes. Available at joshuatreespicestudio.com

Jo Snow Syrups Melissa Yen began infusing flavors into sugar at (now-closed) Vella Café; this month, she's launched a line of six sophisticated syrups ($9-11 each).

Infusions of cardamom-rosewater and tangerine-lavender-honey are deeply flavored and complex, as useful for spiking dishes as drinks. Brush Fig-Vanilla-Black Pepper on squash or pork before roasting, or pair it with rye whiskey and ginger ale. Stir Café de Olla into coffee to recreate the Mexican classic, or blend it with rum and half-and-half for a spunky take on a White Russian. Available at Green Grocer, Provenance, Southport Grocery, Cippolina and Marion Street Market, or order via email

Buy Jo Snow Syrups

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