Torani syrups offer dozens of flavours (over 100 varieties including sugar free) and it can be tempting to mix the flavours with milk in an attempt to get children enjoy drinking it. Unfortunately, as most people realize only after mixing, the acidity in Torani’s syrups often cause the milk to curdle and render it unpalatable. It should be noted that milk is only unhealthy if it’s due to bacteria – in the case of syrups and their acidity it’s still safe to consume (and actually tastes the same), but the texture can be gross.
There are a number of things you can do to help avoid the curdling, so that you’re still able to enjoy your drink.
1. Use Less Syrup
While you may not get the full strength of the syrup, using less syrup causes the PH (acidity) levels of the milk to drop less and can help avoid curdling. Instead of a milk-based drink like a steamer that tastes like the flavour you’re using, you get a milk-flavoured beverage that has hints of the syrup. Each flavour is different so this takes some experimenting, but even small amounts can change the drinks’ taste and create a whole new experience for your child.
2. Pour Slower, and Mix Well
Often, we’ve seen the drink only partially curdling when the ratio of syrup-to-milk is too high, causing the acidity of the syrup to have a disproportionate impact on the dairy immediately surrounding it. One solution we’ve seen a cafe use is to add the syrup slowly (using the pumps) while stirring the drink, so that it dissolves quicker and doesn’t have a chance to concentrate into small pools in the drink.
3. Add the Syrup to the Milk, Not Milk to the Syrup
Similar to point #2, adding the syrup to the milk ensures that there’s not a high ratio of syrup to dairy. When you pour milk into syrup sitting at the bottom of the glass, the syrup causes the PH of the milk to drop very quickly and curdles, even though more milk is added after the fact and eventually balances out – the damage is done. By adding syrup to the dairy (and stirring), the syrup can only gradually impact the acidity of the milk and won’t cause curdling.
Another option is to mix the syrup into coffee before adding the two to the milk, in the case of lattes and cappuccinos. This causes the syrup to be less concentrated because it’s already partially dispersed in the coffee, and reduces the odds of it being too concentrated.
4. Sometimes, You Just Can’t Win
Some flavours just don’t mix well with dairy, because of the acidity as well as the flavour. If you need to add too much syrup to get the flavour you need, the dairy will curdle regardless of how carefully it’s mixed. This is the case particularly with citrus-based syrups like Lemon, Lime and Orange.
Torani has developed a couple flavours specifically for mixing with dairy, including the Red Raspberry Syrup, Sugar Free Red Raspberry Syrup, Orange Syrup and Blue Raspberry Syrup. Look for the “dairy friendly” logo on the syrups.