Local women make entertaining easy with flavored syrups.

Two Clintonville moms have a recipe for spicing up holiday highballs and even baking. Their ROOT 23 brand of simple syrups are infused with a wide array of local ingredients to add zest to cocktails, mocktails or desserts with flavors like pear rosemary, maple cinnamon and even cucumber habanero.

Barb Stauffer and Leah Monaghan started ROOT 23 in 2015, sharing their mutual love of entertaining and cooking with natural, locally-sourced ingredients. The two friends first developed their flavored simple syrups in homemade ice pops for their kids and then quickly saw the potential for cocktails and other uses.

Now ROOT 23 syrups are available in markets and liquor stores across central Ohio as well as in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo, and they have expanded to locations in nine other states—Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, New York, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Syrups can be purchased online at root23.com. A New England distributor is working to place ROOT 23 in stores there.

The syrups are created with organic cane sugar and ingredients that Stauffer and Monaghan get in season from farmers across the region when they are available. Mocktails can be made by adding ROOT 23 syrups to sparkling water. They also work with tea, lemonade and coffee.

In a show of comradery with other local entrepreneurs, they even have a recipe, the Ohio Honey Bee, pairing ROOT 23 Vanilla Ginger Syrup and a little lemon juice with OYO Honey Vanilla Bean Vodka from Middle West Spirits and Watershed Bourbon Barrel Gin from Watershed Distillery.