As a former barista, I have a great passion for simple syrups. Although I would never judge a customer’s drink order, I was shocked every time I saw someone pour a can of sugar into their iced coffee. Let’s check the science: solids like granulated sugar can take forever to dissolve at low temperatures. No matter how aggressively you swirl the ice around, this sugar will keep sinking to the bottom of your cup. However, the solution is simple: syrup.
What is simple syrup?
Simple syrup is a liquid sweetener made by dissolving sugar in water. It literally is. Simple syrup evenly distributes the sweetness to drinks of any temperature, making it a key ingredient in many ice drinks and cocktails (such as sparkling beet lemonade or a Whiskey Sour).
Simple syrup has two main forms: standard syrup, which is made from equal parts sugar and water (1: 1 ratio), and rich syrup, which is made from twice as much sugar as water (2: 1 ratio) and is therefore more viscous. Anything can be measured by volume (like 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water), but if you’re a stickler for precision, weighing your water and sugar (like 200 grams of sugar to 200 grams of water) will produce results that are slightly more accurate .
How do you do it?
There are two different methods of making simple syrup: hot and cold. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, but both are decidedly simple. So here you can choose your own adventure!
It is more common to see simple syrup made by the hot method on the stove. In a saucepan, bring equal parts water and sugar to the boil, stirring constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Make sure that not too much water evaporates. Otherwise, your syrup will cut down and cook a lot thicker and sweeter than expected. Remove from heat, place in a glass or plastic container with a lid and let cool completely before use.
The cold method tends to get less love than its stove counterpart, perhaps because it takes a little longer. Lots Recipes Let the sugar stir into room temperature water at regular intervals of 10 to 15 minutes, however Drink what you want author John deBary swears by an unconventional refrigeration process: popping the mixer out.
“Usually I have to use [simple syrup] immediately, ”says deBary,“ but that’s hard when it’s hot! “If the sugar and water at room temperature are mixed together on high for a full minute and then left for another full minute, the result is a simple syrup that can be used immediately.
Can you customize it?
Since simple syrup is essentially just sugar water, it can be easily customized by adding one more ingredient that gives it flavor – dried flowers like hibiscus, citrus peel, fresh herbs, and even crushed whole spices like cardamom and fennel. “It’s a low-risk way to experiment with different flavors in a cocktail,” says deBary.
Note that the infusion works a little differently with each of the two methods: if you are using the cold blender method, add flavor elements directly into the blender along with sugar and water and allow them to strain after mixing. DeBary prefers this method when using delicate ingredients like herbs as it allows infusion without altering the taste. When using the hot method, you can add your fruits, herbs and / or spices straight to your fresh hot syrup and let it steep for 24 hours before sifting.
How long does it last?
Again, this depends on the adventure you have chosen. According to Food RepublicWhen properly stored, hot-processed standard syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month and rich syrup for up to six months. However, cold processed syrups can mold in about half the time.
Made more than you can use? DeBary recommends freezing simple syrups and thawing them overnight in the refrigerator or, if necessary, quickly in the microwave. How simple!
Time for a drink: