|Thyme-infused Simple Syrup|
Note: Brownish color from raw sugar.
Simple syrup, quite simply, is liquid sugar. It's great to use in cocktails, iced tea, or coffee drinks. It dissolves easily; giving you blendable sweetness, without the granular texture of sugar.
You can buy it, but it's easy to make at home (and, cheaper). Just remember the 1:1 ratio - equal parts sugar & water. It lasts up to 2-4 weeks in the fridge. I make just enough for each time I need it, but you can always make more and store it for future use.
1/2 granulated sugar
Combine ingredients in small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat to cool. Strain, if desired.
Tip: I like to put the finished syrup in a mason jar (since these containers can tolerate hot temps) and stick in fridge or freezer to speed up chilling time.
Thyme Simple Syrup
Method #1 (Boil): Follow basic recipe, adding in one bunch of fresh thyme (6-8 sprigs) with sugar & water to boil. Strain before use. Tip: You can tie herbs together with twine so you can pick out easier when done.
Method #2 (Steep): Reduce heat to barely simmer, add herbs to steep in very hot mixture (not boiling) for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and steep longer, if desired. (Technique from Clique Vodka)
Mint Simple Syrup
Use Method 1 or 2. Follow basic recipe, add in one bunch fresh mint (spearmint preferred). Strain before use.
Lemon Simple Syrup
Method 2: Follow basic recipe. Remove syrup from heat, stir in fresh juice (zest, optional) from one lemon. Strain, if desired.
Note: You're supposed to wait until the syrup is cooled completely before adding lemon. But, I like to cut this corner to save time.
Ginger Simple Syrup
Method 1: Follow basic recipe, adding 4-in fresh ginger, peeled and cut in 1/4" pieces. I was inspired by Giada's Ginger-Peach Beer Cooler recipe.
Lavender Thyme Simple Syrup
Pink Peppercorn Simple Syrup
Method 1: Since this is a spicy syrup that will be used sparingly, reduce portion to 1/4 sugar & water. Add in 2 teaspoons of pink peppercorns. Strain before use.
You can make this more savory and complex by adding in 1 bay leaf and/or 2-3 cinnamon sticks.
Try these pink peppercorn cocktail recipes from Imbibe Magazine.
Kumquat Simple Syrup
Method 1: Bring 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 4-5 oz (or 20) kumquats to boil, sliced and seeded). Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat to cool. Strain liquid for syrup. Keep candied kumquats for other use. (Recipe from Garden of Eating)
Note: I introduced a mandarinquat version in a previous blog entry. Kumquat whiskey sour recipes: fresh version & candied version.
What other simple syrups do you like to make?