I think simple syrup is an overlooked ingredient at the moment. It appears in recipes for cocktails and mocktails alike, is a standard stock item for any bar, can be used to sweeten lemonade, or hot or iced tea, and yet I feel it’s often looked over as “just sugar water”.
First of all, yes, it is sugar and water, but the syrup provides a huge advantage as a beverage sweetener because it allows you to do more with less. You don’t have to add as much simple syrup as you would sugar to say, cold lemon water to make lemonade, because the sugar is already dissolved and you won’t have that natural separation that happens where the top of your lemonade is bitter and the bottom is super sweet.
The basic recipe for simple syrup is 1 cup filtered water to 1 cup sugar. I chose to use organic sugar for two reasons. One, certified organic foods cannot be genetically modified and two, it is less processed than it’s ultra-refined counterpart. Also, I’m very very lucky to be able to find it easily in bulk at my local warehouse store. 😉
When making the syrup it’s easy to add all sorts of flavors depending on how you plan to use it. I made a mint simple syrup for lemonade last year, but I’ve really been into ginger recently and decided to make a version with fresh ginger today. It’s so good to use a drop or so to sweeten a spicy black tea, or make a ginger lemon or lime-ade, and the Godfather used it to make a delicious happy hour concoction coming to the blog soon.
- 1 cup organic sugar
- 1 cup filtered water
- 2½ inches fresh organic ginger, peeled and chopped into 3-4 chunks
- Combine the sugar, ginger, and water in a small saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Transfer the mixture to a glass jar or other container for storage in the refrigerator. Keeps for one week.