Simple syrup is one of the most basic, multi-use items that every home bartender should have on-hand. Thankfully, it really is SIMPLE to make! Let’s take a look at the basic recipe for making it, then I’ll give you some suggestions for easy modifications you can make to really wow your friends (and your own tastebuds).
1 part sugar
1 part water
Put sugar and water into a small pot, and heat over low heat. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, turn off the heat and let cool completely. Put it in the fridge and it should keep for about a month or so. For home use, 1/2 cup to 1 cup of each is enough to last you a while. If you’re hosting a big party, 3 cups of each should last you the whole night.
Easy ways to jazz up your simple syrup
Herbs - I LOVE adding a handful of mint (perfect for mojitos) or basil to simple syrup. Once the sugar has dissolved, add your herbs and simmer for a few more minutes before you take the syrup off the burner to cool. Once cool, strain out the leaves. You’re good to go! If you have other herbs you love, give them a try too - you can’t go wrong.
Fruit - Toss in whole raspberries or strawberries (frozen works just as well!) while you’re heating up your syrup. If you prefer citrus, use lemon/lime/orange peels to flavor your syrup. Cool, strain, you know the deal.
Grenadine - This is just a fancy word for pomegranate syrup. Harvest the seeds (or better yet, buy them already loose to save yourself the trouble) from a pomegranate, then add them to your sugar and water. Heat until the pomegranate seeds burst and color your syrup bright red. Cool, strain, refrigerate.
Honey - Instead of sugar, use equal parts honey and water.
There are hundreds of ways to make simple syrup your own. You can even mix and match (basil + lemon = delicious). So, get creative and look into your fridge for inspiration!
There are no hard and fast rules as to how much of each item you should throw in. Usually a handful or two is enough - plus the longer you let the syrup sit while it’s cooling, the stronger the flavor will end up being. Play around, use your imagination and have fun!