What is a simple syrup infusion?
Let your creative juices soar by playing with simple syrup infusions. Simple syrup is a thick, relatively viscous liquid composed of merely two ingredients. At its core, simple syrup is the process of dissolving sugar into an equal amount of water. That’s it! Simple syrup, as an ingredient, can be utilized in an infinite amount of ways within the culinary world. With the addition of another ingredient to these two base ingredients, you’ve created an infusion – all of a sudden you’ve taken a syrup that seems “simple” and kicked it up a notch!
How to use Simple Syrup
Although it tends to be linked with the process of building a cocktail, there are so many different ways to incorporate simple syrup into your recipes. Here’s a few ideas before we move onto our base recipe and infusions:
- Create Cocktails – Recipe ideas are linked below!
- Moisten Cakes – Many bakers brush/pour simple syrup onto the tops of their cakes before adding buttercream in order to retain moisture and add flavor
- Sparkling Water – Add simple syrup to muddled fruit of choice before adding ice and sparkling water
- Various Cold Drinks – Add your liquid sugar and stir into a beverage. This allows you to avoid the granules of sugar that can sit at the bottom of your drink
- Whip Cream – Add syrup before whipping to infuse flavor
- Sorbet Recipes
- Gift for Friends and Family
Traditional 1:1 Simple Syrup Recipe
To start your equal parts simple syrup, you’ll pour one cup of water into a saucepan and add one cup of sugar. Turn on heat to medium and wait, at times stirring the mixture, until your sugar dissolves due to the temperature of your water. Remove from heat and let cool before using.
Storing Simple Syrup Infusions
After your simple syrup has cooled, place it in the fridge inside of an airtight container. Since sugar is such a phenomenal preservative, it will keep for one month.
Simple Syrup Infusions to Master
If creating an infusion, wait until the sugar has dissolved and add your chosen ingredients. Continue heating for an additional thirty seconds before removing from heat. Allow the simple syrup to infuse with the flavor of your preference for half an hour as the simple syrup cools for 30-60 minutes total. Strain simple syrup into a container in order to remove the herbs, spices, or inclusion of your choice and store in an airtight container inside your fridge. DONE! See? Easy peasy.
Below are some simple syrup recipes I’ve loved! Simply add these ingredients to your 1:1 ratio or 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar, then follow the instructions above!
Rose Simple Syrup – Add 1/2 cup of dried rose blossoms
Serrano Pepper Simple Syrup – Add one thinly cut serrano pepper
Blackberry & Rosemary Simple Syrup – Add 10 muddled blackberries, one tsp lemon juice and one large rosemary sprig
Chamomile Simple Syrup – Add two tablespoons of dried chamomile
Elderflower Simple Syrup – Add 1/2 cup of elderflowers along with the juice of one lemon
Bay Leaves – Add 2 dried bay leaves
Rosemary Simple Syrup – Add two large rosemary sprigs
Ginger & Cardamom Simple Syrup – Add one tablespoon of ginger and six whole cardamom pods
Mint Simple Syrup – Add 12 mint leaves
Basil Simple Syrup – Add 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Cinnamon Simple Syrup – Add 5 cinnamon sticks
Pink Peppercorn Simple Syrup – Add 3 tablespoons of pink peppercorns
Honey Simple Syrup – Agitate equal parts warm water and honey until dissolved
The Golden Ratio
When mixing my own cocktails at home, I am ultimately looking for balance. The general rule to follow when it comes to building a cocktail is as follows:
- 2 Parts Alcohol (Gin, Rye, Vodka, Rum)
- 1 Part Sour (Lemon juice, Lime Juice, Grapefruit Juice)
- 1 Part Sweet (Simple Syrup, Vermouth, Cream, Compote, Liquor)
By utilizing the basics above, you are more likely to achieve a balanced taste and is a great guide to reference when developing your own recipes. Once you have your base, you can add additional flavors and notes in order to accomplish a more complex cocktail.
Below, you’ll find some of my go-to cocktail recipes to try. You can utilize the infusion guide above in order to create your own simple syrup infusions as a key flavor player.
Simple Syrup & Infusions
- 1 cup (240 g) Water
- 1 cup (200 g) Granulated Sugar
- Pour your measured water and sugar into a saucepan and heat on medium
- Cook, stirring the mixture, until your sugar has completely dissolved.
- Remove from heat and let cool unless you are adding ingredients for infusion
- Add desired infusion ingredients and continue heating for 30 seconds before removing from heat
- Allow syrup to infuse for half and hour as the simple syrup cools completely
- Strain syrup into airtight container and store in the fridge