In addition to spice mixes, simple syrup is a great addition to your pantry. It’s easy to make, inexpensive, and versatile. Out of maple syrup? Bam. Put it on pancakes. Making a cocktail? Sweeten it up with simple syrup. Add it to your coffee. Use it to make sweet tea. Drizzle it over fresh fruit. The possibilities go on and on.
So, how do you make it? It could not be simpler (no pun intended.) Mix equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan over gentle heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let it cool and put it in a jar or bottle for storage (I love these.) It’ll last for six months or so in a cool environment. Possibly longer. It’s perfect for the pantry!
There are so many ways to tailor the syrup to your taste. First, consider using other sugars. Regular granulated sugar works great, but what about brown sugar? That would be a great maple syrup sub. You could make a simple honey syrup. Honey is delicious in drinks, but if you’re trying to add it to a cold drink, you could end up with a big lump of honey in the bottom of your glass. With simple honey syrup, you can add it directly to a cold drink with no issues at all!
Another great way to vary the syrup is to add a flavor. You could add an extract (don’t do this until you take the mixture off the heat.) I usually have a batch of orange simple syrup for when I want an Old Fashioned – which is fairly frequently. You could also add fruit zest, mint leaves, or a cinnamon stick to the saucepan while you heat the mixture and while it cools. The heat will release all the deliciousness and then you just remove the item before you store your syrup. Easy peasy.
Have you ever made simple syrup? What’s your favorite way to use it?