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How To Make Simple Syrup
What is Simple Syrup?
It is just sugar and water boiled together. This liquid substance has all the same sweetness of granulated sugar. It is the secret ingredient to the best cold homemade beverages, cocktails, and other drink recipes. It is so much easier to swirl in a prepared translucent liquid than it is to add sugar directly, because the granules don’t need to dissolve. It is a basic and indispensable ingredient of cocktail making.
Types of Simple Syrups:
There are several thicknesses or densities of simple syrup and they have different uses. The thickness depending on the ratio of water to sugar used. The one with more sugar will be more syrupy and sweeter. Follow the measurements listed in your recipe, or use these general guidelines:
Thin Simple Syrup – A ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part sugar – used to glaze cakes and cookies.
Medium Simple Syrup – A ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part sugar – used to make sweeten beverages and iced tea.
Thick or Rich Simple Syrup (basic simple syrup) – A ratio of 1 part water to 1 part sugar – This is used as the basis for cold fruit drinks and cocktails. Also used to make candied fruits. Bartenders usually prefer this simple syrup for cocktails.
Basic Simple Syrup Recipe:
NOTE: Decide which type of Simple Syrup (thin, medium, or thick) you want to make to determine how much water and sugar you need to use. See Types of Simple Syrup above.
In a high-sided saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cold water and sugar to a boil.
Turn the heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture is clear, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Remember – the longer you boil it, the thicker the syrup will be when cooled.
To test if the sugar is completely dissolved: Using spoon, scoop up a small amount of the syrup. You should not be able to see any sugars crystals in the liquid. If you do, boil a little longer.
Optional: At this point you can add flavorings (see below for ideas).
After boiling, let the syrup cool to room temperature, then pour into a tightly sealed, clean glass jar and store in the refrigerator (Any clean and sealable container can be used).
Storing Simple Syrup: Sugar is a natural preservative, so Simple Syrup keeps for a while in the refrigerator. Eventually mold will begin to grow if stored too long. You can also stir in 1 tablespoon corn syrup to help ensure the syrup stays smooth.
Infused or Flavored Simple Syrups – How To Infuse Simple Syrup:
You can also flavor your Simple Syrup in many interesting ways with the addition of herbs and spices. Infused Simple Syrups will work and taste fantastic in just about any summer cocktail. Be creative!
Lemon, lime, orange, and/or grapefruit zest and/or freshly-squeezed juice, whole cinnamon sticks, whole vanilla bean (split open the beans,) whole cloves, whole cardamom pods, culinary lavender (fresh or dried – great in lemonade), basil leaves, ginger root (peeled and cut into rounds or coarsely chopped), mint leaves (I usually keep a bottle in my refrigerator for making Mint Juleps an Mojitos during the summer), rosemary sprigs, fresh eucalyptus, peppercorns, chili peppers (fresh or dried), rose water – substitute some of the water with rose water (make sure you use food-grade rose water that is OK for consumption, some are not), any sort of fruit or vegetable (fresh or frozen), green tea (substitute prepared green tea for the water).
Just add the flavoring (of your choice) once the water and sugar are done boiling and removed from the heat source. Let sit approximately 20 to 30 minutes to infuse the Simple Syrup. Using a wire mesh strainer, strain out the flavoring before using or storing. Some people like to simmer their flavorings when the sugar and water boils.
Popular Recipes That Use Simple Syrup?
Fresh Lime Margaritas
Italian Limoncello 1
Lemon Drop Martini
The Merchant’s Wife Cocktail – Watermelon Cocktail
Mint Julep Watermelon
Red Wine Sangria
White Wine Sangria
Basic glaze over freshly-cup fruit. Also used to make candied fruits:
Used for making sorbets:
Champagne Grapefruit Sorbet
Champagne Citrus Sorbet
Lemon Rosemary Sorbet
Lemon Sorbet in Lemon Cups
Mint Julep Sorbet
Minty Grapefruit Sorbet
Pear Ginger Sorbet
Pinot Gris-Prickly Pear Sorbet
Basic pastry-making staple – A cake baker’s trick: Lightly brush simple syrup on each cake layer before frosting. Simple syrup is used to keep cake layers moist for long periods.