Have you ever come across a drink recipe you want to try SO badly... but it calls for simple syrup? What's that? What's simple about it? Extra steps? Who needs those?
According to Wikipedia, simple syrup is, "a basic sugar-and-water syrup used by bartenders as a sweetener to make cocktails." It's also known as sugar syrup or bar syrup. Try sugar alternatives like agave nectar, brown sugar, or honey to give your drinks diversity from the regular. Cooking or baking recipes may also call for simple syrup, so this is a great resource to have in your culinary toolkit!
You can buy it in stores, but it's ridiculously easy to make your own--and try out different flavours such as mint, cinnamon, berry, vanilla, citrus, and sweet and spicy with jalapeños, habaneros, or even Tabasco. You can also make it in advance and store it for about a month, sealed and refrigerated.
So how do you make it?
- 1 part granulated sugar
- 1 part water
- Combine sugar and water in a pan on medium heat
- Stir until the sugar dissolves, remove from heat.
- Allow the syrup to cool, then transfer to a glass jar with a tight lid
- Use as needed, store the rest in the fridge.
That's it! But what if you want to make a flavoured syrup? Still SO easy!
Want to make blueberry lemon syrup? Add 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries and fresh juice from one lemon with the sugar and water, then continue as directed above. Depending on the strength of flavour you want, simmer the mixture on low for a few more minutes. Once cool, strain the mixture through a fine mesh or sieve before storing.
Try your hand with some of these common flavours, like cinnamon, cranberry, or raspberry from Boulder Locavore, or have a go at these more complex kinds, like burnt orange-peppercorn and gingerbread syrups, from Imbibe.
Your drink-making world just got a lot more flavourful!