(Approx. reading time 1 min 55 secs)
Simple syrup is probably the easiest thing to make: water and sugar. And almost as easy to flavour. So, skip buying those expensive syrups for your coffee, spend 5 minutes and DIY it! You can even come up with your own ‘specialty’ flavours.
If you are partial to alcoholic drinks, you can also use the simple syrup for cocktails, or the flavoured ones to make flavoured liquors. All you have to do is mix the syrup with whichever spirit you want, and you can drink it straight away. Flavoured liquors make for fantastic presents as well, one of my best well-received father’s day present was a bottle of vodka flavoured with rhubarb syrup.
And you shouldn’t forget that all these syrups can be used with cakes, pancakes, and all sorts of delicious baked goods! Or how about ice-cream?
Next time you go to buy an overpriced syrup, go back home and prepare your own. It really is quite easy and extremely affordable: all you need is water, sugar, and something to give it a it of flavour.
Check all the posts where I talk about sugar.
Getting the ingredients
Use good water, and filter it if needed. Hard water will make the syrup taste weird and can even crystallise it.
For the sugar, all you need is granulated white sugar, the cheapest and most basic of sugars. You can go fancy and use brown sugar for a different flavour too.
For flavourings, you can use almost anything: herbs, spices, tea leaves, coffee, fruits, chocolate powder…. Your imagination is the limit! You can even change the water for a flavoured drink, like fruit juice or tea.
There are two different ways you can make syrups. One is by using only a liquid and sugar, and the other one is by adding flavourings. The first option is easier, but the second one gives you more options for flavours.
You can, of course, combine both approaches for some really creative syrup flavours. Let me know in the comments if you do, I’m always interested in trying new things!
Simple syrup and flavoured syrup (replacing the water)
Bring 1 cup of water or your prefered liquid to a boil, lower the heat and add 1 cup of sugar. Mix until it the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool and keep in the fridge.
If you want the syrup to be thicker, boil it until it reaches the thickness you want. But be careful not to leave it on the heat for too long or it will turn into caramel!
Flavoured syrup (adding flavourings)
Mix your flavouring (herbs, spices, tea, coffee, fruit peels…) with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Depending on the flavouring used, you may want to take it out. If that’s the case use a metal sieve (plastic could melt) or a coffee filter to do it.
Bring the water down to a lower heat and add 1 cup of sugar. Mix until it the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool and keep in the fridge.
You can also boil it longer if you want a thicker syrup. But once again, be careful it doesn’t become caramel.