Simple syrup is an essential ingredient in cocktail making.
It is one of my favourite ways to impart flavour into drinks and in such a simple way- no pun intended!
You’ll find though that it is not the only way to use your flavoured syrups, sharing below all my tips and tricks.
Mis En Place
The simple syrup ratio I use is always 1:1, which is 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water.
This makes for a lighter syrup I believe to be not too sweet. If you prefer it sweeter you can just add more sugar.
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan.
Over medium-high heat bring to a boil, until sugar has melted. This will happen fairly quickly.
Once ready, let cool to room temperature and then store in an airtight container or jar.
If you choose to infuse your simple syrup, let steep anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour before straining.
Strain with a fine mesh sieve and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
What flavours to infuse into your simple syrups
Some of my favourite things to infuse with are spices, tea, herbs, florals and fruit.
Try out some of the following:
Blend different spices together to make festive and seasonal syrups, I like to generally start with 3-5 pieces.
Vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, star anise, fresh ginger, cardamom and nutmeg
Fresh herbs are best when using.
I like best mint, basil, thyme, lemon balm, verbena, sage and rosemary
Fresh fruit can add a fresh and colourful touch to your syrups.
Try any type of citrus, berries, pineapple, mango or Jalapeño even for a spicy bite.
Edible flowers make for super fragrant syrups and can help with colour too!
Rose petals, hibiscus petals which will turn your syrup pink, pea flower will turn your syrup blue/purple
and lavender, my favourite.
I love using loose leaf tea as it will impart the most flavour.
Sloane Tea is one of my favourite brands, I often turn to their Earl grey classic, Heavenly Cream, Celebration Medley and Peaches and Cream for steeping.
Types of Sugar
There are several sugar’s out there and there really is no wrong one to choose.
They will all give subtle flavour difference in the final result.
Granulated sugar- the one I turn to most as it is the most neutral
Raw sugar- contains small amounts of molasses and will be more coarse, works perfectly well
Brown and Demerara sugar- deeper and richer in molasses flavour, great for elevating spicy and warm flavours
Coconut sugar-a natural sweetener we are seeing more and more of, works very similar to raw sugar
Honey- higher in sweetness than sugar and has a musky distinct flavour, use in the same ratio as sugar
Maple Syrup-high in antioxidants, it is a great choice but does again have its own distinct flavour, something to consider depending on your hopes for the final result
Cocktails are not the only place I find myself using syrups
Here are additional ways to use them:
Mocktails- this will help elevate your non-alcoholic beverages
Coffee- add to your favourite lattes or iced coffee as liquid sugar
Iced Tea- a wonderful way to add a special sweetness to your tea
Cake- I often turn to simple syrups when looking to keep a bundt, loaf or cake layer nice and moist and full of flavour
Ice Cream- pour over your à la mode desserts for a little extra sweetness
Some cocktails using flavoured simple syrups include