how to make a simple syrup

Simple syrup is an essential component in cocktails, sangria and other party-ready pitcher drinks, as well as being great for use in iced tea, coffee and homemade sodas.

Simple syrup can be customized to your favorite beverages in many ways, from steeping herbs such as rosemary, thyme, mint or lemon balm in hot mixture, or cinnamon sticks or whole ginger root in boiling liquid.

1. Sugar

Simple syrup is an easy and cost-effective sweetener to prepare at home, made up of water and sugar that can easily be enhanced with fruits, herbs and spices for flavoring.

At its core, simple syrup should have a 1:1 ratio: one part sugar to one part water. You may wish to adjust this proportion depending on your needs or use. A 2:1 simple syrup makes for thicker glaze-making or cooking with fruit.

Simple syrup has many applications in both cocktails and baking. Brushing it onto the top of a cake helps add moisture and flavor; adding it to iced tea adds just a hint of sweetness; or pouring some over an indulgent dessert such as ice cream is another possibility.

2. Water

Making homemade simple syrup is simple and budget friendly – using nothing other than sugar and water! Perfect for cocktails, mocktails, lemonade (including this magic color-changing or cucumber lemonade!) or homemade boba!

Add fruit, herbs or spices to your basic syrup for additional flavour and aroma – such as adding a few sticks of cinnamon for a fragrant cinnamon syrup that you can then strain off and use!

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The same method can be applied to other herbs or spices; simply stir a small amount in once your syrup has set.

3. Heat

Simple syrup serves as the basis of many cocktails such as Margaritas, Hurricanes, Daiquiris, and Pina Coladas. It’s also popularly used in non-alcoholic drinks like iced tea, lemonade and punch. Simple syrup can also be used to brush over baked goods (try it with pound cake) and as an ingredient to substitute water when cooking; rich simple syrup (2:1 ratio between sugar and water) is often added as a cocktail topping and added directly onto salads as a salad topping or added directly onto cocktails as an ingredient if desired.

Heating water first speeds up the process and requires less stirring, and can help dissolve sugar faster. Once that step has completed, add any desired flavoring (e.g. liquor or extracts). Or experiment with citrus fruits, herbs like rosemary basil thyme.

4. Cool

Simple syrup can be found in many drinks, from cocktails and lemonades to homemade smoothies and mixed beverages. As it’s liquid-based, simple syrup easily blends with cold drinks while providing an additional sweet layer of flavor.

And it can also serve as the perfect foundation for adding fruit, herbs, and spices! Add fresh mint leaves, rosemary leaves, basil leaves or thyme leaves as an infusion agent; citrus peels such as lemon, lime or orange (using a vegetable peeler can make this easier); lavender flowers or even hibiscus flowers for maximum effect!

Simply combine other sugars like brown or demerara sugar for an appealing twist, as well as other options like Stevia or sugar substitutes to change up the flavor profile. Refrigerated, your simple syrup should last up to a month!

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5. Storage

Simple syrup kept in an airtight container in the fridge should last several weeks; however, if its consistency becomes cloudy or it begins to smell fishy it’s time for a new batch.

Consider using a sterilized glass jar to store your syrup – some bartenders prefer this over plastic as it won’t leach into their drinks.

Freezing syrup can greatly extend its shelf life; just make sure you store it in an airtight freezer bag to prevent leakage. Once defrosted, your frozen syrup can add an extra flavorful burst to hot or cold drinks; making this an excellent way of using up older batches of simple or flavored versions of syrups!

By BobJ

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