If you really want to amp up your favorite drinks, desserts, and recipes, you need to learn how to make Flavored Simple Syrups that are packed full of fresh flavors. Alcohol Infusions, along with fresh fruits or herbs, are key ingredients in many of those drink recipes like Pear Rosemary Sparklers.
Let’s start with making a plain simple syrup. A simple syrup is equal parts water and sugar mixed together then gently heated up until the sugar completely dissolves. The sugar melts completely for maximum sweetness when heated. Have you ever stirred sugar into cold tea then wondered why it doesn’t taste nearly as good as the sweet tea you might have tried at a restaurant? This article talks a little about the science, but essentially, heating up the sugar water creates a completely fluid, sweeter end product in much less time.
Now that you know how to make the plain version of this sweet concoction, let’s talk about Flavored Simple Syrups. They are the easiest way to add flavor to your favorite classic cocktails. You can add herbs, spices, fruits, peppers, or any combination of ingredients once you have brought your simple syrup to a gentle boil and all the sugar is dissolved. Heat will help to extract flavor from your add-ins, creating a tasty syrup. This is a raspberry blueberry basil syrup.
Here are a few tips as you play around with different ingredients.
- Simmer heartier items like rosemary, lemongrass, or rhubarb longer for a stronger taste.
- Tender herbs like thyme or soft berries will fall apart if simmered too long, so remove them from the stove almost immediately. Flavors are extracted while the syrup cools.
- Get creative with unique ingredients like black peppercorns, mulling spices, or celery.
- Try honey, brown sugar, or agave nectar instead of plain white sugar for different tastes.
- The longer Flavored Simple Syrups sit, the stronger the flavors will be. Taste the mixture frequently as it cools. Once you are happy with your creation, strain solids from syrup and discard.
- Keep syrups in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Let’s talk about how you can be super creative with these delicious concoctions now that we have the basics covered. Simple syrups are great in cocktails, but they are an equally tasty way to add flavor to iced tea or making a refreshing summer drink like this Strawberry Lemonade. You could also drizzle a simple syrup over oatmeal, pancakes, or your favorite ice cream too! Let your tastebuds go wild with the possibilities.
Step 5: Raspberry Blueberry Basil Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
6 basil leaves
Instructions Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
Add berries and basil to saucepan.
Simmer 3-5 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat, cool completely.
Strain solids from syrup and discard.
Store syrup in a lidded jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Notes Home Chef Tip: Substitute honey, agave nectar, or cane sugar for a different sweetness.