How to Make Simple Syrup and Why You Should
What do a classic Bourbon Sour, a genteel Mint Julep and a tropical Pina Colada have in common? Each has a delicate balance of bitterness or bite smoothed by the sweet, refreshing finish of simple syrup. So what is simple syrup?
Simply put, simple syrup is sugar dissolved in water. It’s a basic ingredient of many cocktails. Bartenders prefer mixing with simple syrup versus granulated sugar because the crystals are already dissolved and won’t sink to the bottom of a glass.
Making Simple Syrup is simple too. Just take equal parts sugar and water, measure them into a jar or mixing bottle and shake it for 3 minutes. Let it rest for a minute and then shake it again for 30 more seconds. That’s it. For this method superfine sugar works best as smaller crystals dissolve more quickly.
Some people prefer rich simple syrup for cocktails, which is simple syrup made with a larger proportion of sugar, say 1.5 or 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. Rich simple syrup is more concentrated, making it sweeter, so you use less and cut down the amount of water in the drink. It will also last longer than simple syrup in your refrigerator.
It’s possible to make rich syrup through shaking, but this method might take a toll on your arms since it’ll take longer for the extra sugar to dissolve in the water, so use some heat first. Start by mixing the 1.5 or 2 parts sugar and 1 part water together in a shallow pan, stirring over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat, let the syrup cool, bottle it, and refrigerate.
It’s so easy there’s really no reason you shouldn’t try making your own simple syrup. It’s simple, economical and will help you build a better cocktail.