You've probably heard of this ingredient that is often used in mixed drinks, but do you know how to make simple syrup for cocktails?
How to Make Simple Syrup for Cocktails
You can buy simple syrup, by why not make your own? As its name implies, simple syrup is easy to make and it only takes about five minutes. It is used to sweeten and add volume to many cocktails, and blends seamlessly with other ingredients since adding granulated sugar on its own would sink to the bottom. Follow these steps to make your own simple syrup:
- Add one cup of granulated sugar and one cup of water to small saucepan.
- Bring water to boil.
- Lower the temperature and let simmer until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally, for for approximately two minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and let cool completely.
- Fill a plastic or glass jar with the syrup mixture and refrigerate.
Some people prefer to use a 2:1 ratio of sugar and water. For those watching their sugar intake, substitute Splenda or another sugar substitute. Adding gum arabic makes for a silkier texture. The mixture can be refrigerated for up to one month.
Cocktails Made with Simple Syrup
Many popular cocktails, from Prohibition Era drinks to summer staples, include simple syrup as an ingredient:
- Mint Julep
- Mai Tai
- Cable Car
- French 75
Other Uses for Simple Syrup
Aside from alcoholic drinks, simple syrup has many other uses. If you have some leftover, use it to flavor lemonade, specialty coffee drinks and tea. Simple syrup can be tossed with fresh fruits to create fruit salads or added to seltzer water to make homemade sodas. Many people use it in baking as a cake glaze.
Infusing Simple Syrup
By adding some special ingredients to your simple syrups, you can infuse them with delicious flavors that will take your cocktails to the next level. Simply add these extra ingredients to the saucepan while you are making simple syrup. Don't be afraid to experiement! Some ideas include:
- Mint leaves
- Vanilla beans
Alternatives to Simple Syrup
Using simple syrup is only one way to sweeten cocktails. Depending on the type of drink you are making, you might try one of these other sweet alternatives:
- Sweet and sour mix
- Schnapps and liqueurs
- Almond syrup
- Cane syrup
- Chocolate syrup
- Maple syrup
Buying Simple Syrup
If you don't have time to make your own, you can purchase simple syrup from many liquor stores or websites, including: