Simple syrup is exactly what it says it is–simple. A key ingredient in many cocktails (mojitos! whisky sours! gin fizzes!), simple syrup blends easily into drinks whereas granulated sugar by itself can end up grainy at the bottom of your glass. Infusing the sugar-water mixture adds an extra dose of flavor, great for making unique cocktails at home or for gift-giving to a hostess. Read on for the basic recipe to see just how easy it is to make, plus get inspired with some infusion ideas. The options are really endless…
Basic Simple Syrup Recipe
2 cups sugar*
1 cup water
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, remove from heat.
*I use the 2:1 sugar-to-water ratio many mixologists use, for a thicker syrup. Many recipes call for a 1:1 ratio.
Infusing the Syrup
Add your infusion (herbs, fruit, zest, spices) to the hot syrup and submerge, allowing the mixture to steep. Once cool, transfer to a glass bottle or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks.
You should strain the mixture to discard the solids before storing (or before using). Just pour the syrup through a small (handheld) fine mesh strainer. Note that if you leave the solids in the bottle or jar, the syrup will develop a more intense flavor.
I used rosemary sprigs, lime zest and smashed blackberries. Here are some other ideas for herbal, citrus, fruit and even spice flavors!
Herb: Mint, basil, cilantro, sage (check out my lavender simple syrup!)
Citrus: Lemon, orange, grapefruit
Fruit: Raspberries, strawberries, cherries
Spices: Vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, chili pepper