July 6, 2012

Friday Happy Hour: How to Make Simple Syrup

OK, this isn't a cocktail, but something you need to MAKE cocktails.  See that mason jar sitting over there right in front of that (delicious) bottle of Balvenie Single Barrel 15?  No, it is not moonshine.  Though it does look like it.

It's simple syrup - a fairly common addition to all sorts of mixology-driven cocktail libations.

While I do think there are some commercially available simple syrups, there is really no reason whatsoever to buy this stuff when you can make it in under 20 minutes at home.

What you need:
1 part water
2 parts regular white sugar
A small saucepan
Something to keep it in (mason jar, olive oil bottle, etc.)
A funnel if you are pouring into something with a small mouth

That's it.  I have also found that this makes surprisingly more volume of simple syrup than you might expect, so start small (maybe 1/2 cup water and a cup of sugar) as you can always make more.

So here's how you do it.  Get yourself a small saucepan and pour in the water, to bring it to a boil.  Don't let it boil too much or you'll lose volume.  Really you're just trying to get it to boiling and then you can move on with adding the sugar.

Two ways to add the sugar here - one is to remove completely from heat, the other is to just stir constantly.  Either way, you dump the sugar in, and you stir, stir, stir until all of the sugar is dissolved.  Once the sugar is all absorbed, remove from heat and let the mixture cool before transferring it to your storage container.

That's it.  I've heard that you can add a little vodka to it to help preserve it, but I've never tried it.  If you have, let me know how that works.  Otherwise, you now have a fine clear sweetener to add a little sugar to your cocktail concoctions.

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