How to make simple syrup

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A basic culinary ingredient, making simple syrups is easy and can improve many dishes.

How to make a simple syrup

At its most basic, simple syrup is just 2 parts sugar to 1 part water that gets boiled together. However, that’s just the basic simple syrup. You can also infuse the syrup with fruit, herbs and other flavors to make simple syrup that’s not simple. Then all you have to do is figure what’s the best drink, dish or dessert for your newly made syrup.

Basic simple syrup

Yields 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar

Directions:

  1. Bring the ingredients to boil and then kill the heat.
  2. Let the syrup slowly thicken in the open air for 15 minutes.

Now what?

Well, a number of cocktail recipes call for simple syrup. You can also add a few tablespoons to pasta sauce to give it a little sweetness. You can also use simple syrup to make granita by putting it in a bowl and freezing it. Come back every few hours over an eight-to 12- hour day and scrape the ice to give the granita texture.

Of course, basic simple syrup is so… basic. You can also kick it up by adding extra flavors and repeating the instructions above.

Citrus simple syrup

Add the zest (minced) and juice of 2 lemons to give your syrup a lemony kick. This is great as a basis for margaritas.

Basil simple syrup

Add the zest of 1 lemon and 8 leaves of basil to make a base for strawberry basil cocktails and smoothies and as an enlightening kick to marinara and pesto sauces.

Pomegranate simple syrup

Replace the water with pomegranate juice and add the zest and juice of an orange for a granita base you’ll love.

Habanero simple syrup

Finally, for a sneaky tongue burner, add in a chopped habanero that you strain out before serving. It’s fiery, but no one will know why.

More syrups, more delicious dishes

Make your own fruit molasses or syrup
Fried chicken and waffles with killer maple butter
Gingersnap martini