There’s a reason they call it simple…

In my mind it always seems like a complicated and time consuming thing, equivalent to some kind of precision candy making and requiring a timer and a thermometer. But there’s a reason that they call it simple syrup. It really is simple! No thermometer, no timer, just some sugar water and a pot. And by using the ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen, you can flavor the syrup to make all sorts of fun foods and drinks. Here’s the basic recipe, followed by a list of ideas for flavoring it.

Basic Simple Syrup Recipe

Mix 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. {add flavors at this point, if you’d like!} Remove from heat, cool to room temperature, store in covered container in the refrigerator.

SO easy! Now here is the fun part. After you take the syrup off the heat, add some flavor (see below!) and let it soak till the syrup is cool (about a half hour). Once its cool, strain and use the syrup however you like! Let me tell you, these are wonderful in iced tea, lemonade, yogurt, ice cream, berries, fruit salad, coffee, carbonated water (to make a custom soda), salad dressings- all kinds of things! Its also an easy party idea – have a few flavors next to the iced tea or coffee for guests to customize their drinks with.

Here’s a list of ideas to get you started, but you’ll definitely notice a theme, and may be inspired to experiment with some of your own ideas!

  • berry – add 1/2 cup berries (you don’t have to strain this one if you don’t want!)
  • caramel – heat only the sugar in pan over medium high until it melts and turns brown. Then add the water and proceed as usual.
  • cucumber – add one sliced cucumber.
  • ginger – add a 3″ piece of peeled, sliced ginger to the sugar water and boil 2-3 minutes. Strain when cool.
  • herb – add 1 cup of any fresh herb – lavender, basil, thyme, mint.
  • lemon – add 1/2 cup lemon juice (obviously you don’t strain this one!).
  • mint – add 1 cup of mint leaves.
  • vanilla – add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

P.S. I would have loved to take a picture of this delicious syrup in one of those lovely bottles with the pour toppers and the nice labels. But realistically? I keep this stuff in a tupperware in the fridge. I bet that it would make a great gift if you did manage to get your hands on one of those bottles and filled it up with some flavored syrup and put a nice label on it. Maybe I’ll try that sometime…

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2 responses to “There’s a reason they call it simple…

  1. Pingback: Jazzed up Iced Tea «

  2. hi GF! i have a few straggler lemons on my tree from its winter batch, and i thought i’d try this! i remembered you blogged something about it, so i did a little search and here it is! meyer lemon simple syrup, here i come! πŸ˜‰
    ps- how are you? and the baby? :)) can’t wait to meet him/her. we should hang out and catch up soon!! im on summer πŸ™‚

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