Simple syrup is frequenly used to sweeten summer cocktails, iced tea, lemonade and other sweet beverages. It's primarily used as a substitute for granulated sugar, but when you make a simple syrup with herbs, fruits or other aromatics, the simple syrup can add a whole new dept of flavor to your recipe. You can buy simple syrup, but making your own is so easy and so much cheaper, there's really no reason to buy it. You can make any size batch that you need, and store it in a well-sealed bottle in the refrigerator for about 6 months.
Here's the basic recipe for a medium syrup:Ingredients:1 part water1 part sugar
Directions:Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.Cook until sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear, stirring constantly (about 3 to 5 minutes).(Note: Do not allow the syrup to boil for too long or the syrup will be too thick.Once the sugar is dissolved completely, remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature.Transfer mixture to an airtight bottle or jar.
If you're adding any aromatics such as herbs, spices, fruit juice, or liqueurs, add those when you combine the water and the sugar. If you've added a solid ingredient, strain it out before transferring the syrup to a bottle.
Simple syrups are a must on any bar and also make lovely hostess gifts. Here are a few of our favorite simple syrups.
For more ways to use simple syrups in summertime beverages, see our collection of Drink and Cocktail Recipes.