Learn how to make simple syrup from scratch. Keep it on hand to make cocktails, sweeten iced tea or coffee, and mix into desserts. Flavor this easy, must-have ingredient with herbs and spices, try out different sugars or just keep it plain. Store it in a jar until you need it!
Simple syrup is a key ingredient in many a cocktail. Depending on the recipe, it’s as essential as booze and bitters!
And it’s called “simple” for a reason. Anyone could make it. Seriously.
And because of that, it is most certainly not worth the $14 to buy it at a specialty store. If you own a measuring cup, a spoon, a pot and sugar and have running water, you can easily learn how to make simple syrup.
It really is that easy. Throw the sugar and water into a pot, dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.
Once cooled, transfer the mixture to a mason jar. You can keep it in the fridge for up to one month in a sealed container.
You can also make it cold, by placing water and sugar into a jar. Put the lid on tightly, and shake hard until the sugar has dissolved. Voila!
Use it to sweeten coffee, iced tea and cocktails like this Bourbon Grapefruit Cocktail. It’s fantastic for beverages because the sugar is already dissolved, so the syrup just mixes right in.
You can even use simple syrup in baked goods, like this Cotton Candy Layer Cake.
You can have fun with ratios. I use a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water, but you can make a thicker, sweeter “rich syrup” if you use a either a 1.5:1 or a 2:1 ratio.
These keep longer than a month because the sugar acts as a preservative. When mixing drinks, you can use a little less rich syrup than simple syrup, because rich syrup is a lot more sweet.
Want to make it your own? That’s easy too. Simple syrup is really customizable.
Experimenting with infusions is one of my favorite ways to mix new flavors into my drinks. You can infuse simple syrup with most fruits, herbs and spices. Here are a few quick ideas:
- Cinnamon simple syrup: cinnamon sticks
- Pumpkin simple syrup: pumpkin puree
- Mint simple syrup: fresh mint sprigs
- Cranberry simple syrup: fresh cranberries
- Vanilla bean simple syrup
One other way to change up your simple syrups is to try different kinds of sugar. I typically go for white sugar or brown sugar, but you can also try turbinado, muscovado or demerara for a richer taste.
Once you learn how to make simple syrup, you’ll be on your way to making amazing cocktails at home! Life will definitely be sweeter.
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