Simple syrup made simple

Knowing how to make simple syrup might come in handy if you’re taking baking courses online. Though simple syrup is primarily an element in cocktails and tea, the basic combination of sugar and water has a wide array of uses in cooking and baking as well. Though this sugary elixir can be found at gourmet grocery stores, but why go out and pay for something you can easily make at home? As the name suggests, making simple syrup is uncomplicated and easy.

The sugar ratio
As this concoction is comprised of only two ingredients, the ratio becomes important to the flavor and texture. A standard simple syrup used by most barkeeps runs a 1:1 ratio, that is, equal parts sugar and water. If the mixture is designated as rich, it means the ratio of sugar to water is 2:1. Rich simple syrup is found more commonly in the UK.

How to make simple syrup
When making simple syrup remember that the type of sugar you use is imperative to your measurements. This is because different sugars have different weights by volume. A cup of brown sugar and a cup of granulated sugar might look the same, but they will likely vary by weight due to air pockets between granules. To avoid miscalculating the ratio, weigh sugar and water in ounces to keep the amounts equal.

Different sugars can be used to accomplish varying culinary purposes. For example, brown sugar simple syrup might complement a dessert that uses rum in the recipe.

Once the sugar and water is weighed, combine the ingredients over heat and stir frequently until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then remove immediately and let the mixture cool. Don’t allow the syrup to boil or you’ll lose water, throwing off the ratio. Store your simple syrup in a clean jar or bottle.

A cold process may also be employed by shaking and stirring the sugar into room temperature water. The easiest way to do this is by adding all of the ingredients into a bottle, closing the lid tightly and shaking it vigorously. However, this process takes longer and limits the shelf life of your mixture.

Simple syrup can be infused with numerous flavors such as basil, ginger, mint, rosemary or really anything else your heart desires. The key is to wait for the sugar to completely dissolve in the water before you add any flavoring ingredients. Let the mixture cool and then strain the syrup to remove solids.

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