Sweeten up Your Drinks with a Quick Syrup
From the fruity bramble to the minty mojito, many cocktail recipes call for simple syrup. This mixture of sugar and water adds sweetness and a smooth mouthfeel without the uneven distribution and granular residue that come from stirring sugar directly into the drink.
You can buy prepared syrup, but making it at home is inexpensive, quick and—as the name implies—simple. To make cocktail prep even quicker, you can prepare your syrup well in advance, store it in the refrigerator, and just bring it out whenever you feel like playing bartender. Once you've mastered this easy simple syrup recipe, you can experiment with adding new ingredients to the mix.
Total Time: 10 minutes | Prep Time: 2 minutes | Serves: 8
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup of water over medium heat. Heat the water but don't allow it to boil.
- Add 1 cup of sugar to the water. If your cocktail recipe calls for "rich simple syrup," double the ratio of sugar to water.
- Stir the mixture gently until the sugar is completely dissolved and no more crystals are visible. This should take around 2 minutes.
- Remove the syrup from the heat and allow to cool.
- Transfer the cool syrup to another container and store it in the refrigerator. It should keep for three weeks to several months.
If you want to expand your cocktail repertoire, try infusing simple syrup with herbs, fruit or other flavors simply by steeping the ingredients in an uncovered container of syrup. For instance, mint syrup simplifies the process of making a mint julep.
Dr James Holloway has been writing about games, geek culture and whisky since 1995. A former editor of "Archaeological Review from Cambridge," he has also written for Fortean Times, Fantasy Flight Games and The Unspeakable Oath. A graduate of Cambridge University, Holloway runs the blog Gonzo History Gaming.