So, you’re at a restaurant. It’s lunch time. You’re hot. You order iced tea. It arrives and you pour a couple of packets of sugar into your tea and stir and stir and stir and stir, waiting for the sugar to dissolve. It doesn’t so you settle for sipping mostly-sweetened tea, trying hard not to catch those undissolved granules of sugar that linger at the bottom of your glass. If this sounds familiar, I’ve got the solution – Simple Syrup!
How to Make Simple Syrup
Simple Syrup is a syrup (duh) made by combining equal parts sugar and water and heating them until the sugar dissolves. The result is a solution to half-sweetened tea. Stir a splash or two of simple syrup into your tea for a sweet tea minus the sugar crystals, like my Lime Sweet Tea!
Bartenders have long known the value of simple syrup. It’s a great way to sweeten cocktails without dealing with undissolved grains of sugar. Dress up your favorite fruit salad with a little simple syrup or use it as a base for making sorbets.
You can make flavored simple syrup by adding fresh herbs, spices, citrus slices or even sliced jalapeños for a sweet and spicy version. If adding other ingredients, add them once the sugar begins to boil. Let the syrup steep until cool. Strain syrup before using.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Optional: citrus zest or slices
- cinnamon sticks
- sliced fresh ginger (don't bother peeling it)
- star anise
- sliced peppers (makes a sweet & spicy syrup)
- herbs, spices or other flavoring agents of choice
- Combine sugar and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves.
- Remove pot from heat and set aside to cool.
- If adding other ingredients, add them once the sugar begins to boil. Let the syrup steep until cool. Strain syrup before using.
- Store simple syrup in an airtight container for up to 1 month.