Every bartender should know How to Make Simple Syrup. Whether you’re fixing drinks at home for friends or slinging drinks at the club, this recipe is part of bartending 101!
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The day I become a bartender I started taking in all the tips and tricks I could to make sure I had the best drinks and made the best tips. A great bartender has it all – personality, mad cocktail skills, and an understanding of bar basics that can get them through the craziest night behind the rail. Whether your a professional bartender or a home bartender making brunch cocktails for your friends, there are some fundamental recipes you should know. Like how to make simple syrup, sour mix, and bloody mary mix in addition to classic cocktail knowledge and an understanding of how to build a random drink based off of flavor profiles. Today we’re starting with step one – the simple syrup recipe. Super easy to make and an essential for your home bar.
What is simple syrup
- Simple syrup is a water and sugar mixture that is used to sweeten drinks (like coffee, tea, or cocktails) without having to worry about sugar granules floating around the drink or sinking to the bottom.
Simple syrup ratio
- Simple syrup uses a one to one ratio of water to sugar. You can make a small batch or a large batch as long as you keep the ratio the same.
- I have also seen simple syrup made with 1 part water to 2 parts sugar for a thicker syrup you don’t have to use as much of, but 1:1 is the standard preparation.
One of my favorite things about simple syrup is that it’s so versatile. Of course, you can use it for cocktails, making sweet tea & lemonade, but you can also use simple syrup for cakes to keep the layers moist and add a little sweetness or bonus flavor.
Bonus flavor? That’s right! Sometimes I like to infuse my simple syrups with herbs, fruits, spices, and flowers to boost my cocktails or recipes. It’s super easy to do. Here are some of my favorite infusions.
**Each of these infusions is based on a 1 cup water to 1 cup sugar ratio.**
- Mint simple syrup – Add 12 mint leaves to the syrup once the sugar has dissolved. Cook for 60 seconds and then remove from heat. Let steep 30 minutes and then remove leaves before cooling completely.
- Lavender simple syrup – Add 1 tablespoon dried lavender blossoms (food-grade) to the sugar and water. Cook until sugar dissolves. Let steep 30 minutes and then remove flowers before cooling completely.
- Mojito simple syrup – A classic mojito uses your basic simple syrup, but mint simple syrup or lime-infused simple syrup would be great too! Add lime peel (without pith) to water and sugar. Cook until sugar dissolves. Let steep 30 minutes and then remove peel before cooling completely. You can also stir in some lime juice if you want to boost the flavor even more.
- Ginger simple syrup – Add peeled chunks of fresh ginger to the syrup once the sugar has dissolved. Cook for 60 seconds and then remove from heat. Let steep 30 to 60 minutes and then remove ginger before cooling completely.
- Honey simple syrup – Substitute honey for sugar! Combine equal parts honey and water and warm over medium heat until the honey melts into the water and is evenly combined. Cool completely.
- Strawberry simple syrup – Add 1 pound strawberries to water and sugar in a pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. Strain syrup and then cool completely.
- Rosemary simple syrup – Add 3 or 4 whole sprigs of rosemary to the syrup once the sugar has dissolved. Cook for 60 seconds and then remove from heat. Let steep 30 minutes and then remove sprigs before cooling completely.
I’ve even made a sage simple syrup because I have this obsession with sage and an orange simple syrup that’s great in cocktails and desserts!
Where to buy simple syrup
- You can buy pre-made simple syrup in the liquor department of your local grocery store or at any liquor store.
- It’s crazy easy to make simple syrup, and whipping up a batch at home is WAY cheaper than buying it at the store. If you can boil water, you can make simple syrup. Promise.
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How to Make Simple Syrup
Every bartender should know How to Make Simple Syrup. Whether you're fixing drinks at home for friends or slinging drinks at the club, this recipe is part of bartending 101!
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Two 8-ounce mason jars
Place water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Heat until just about simmering being sure to stir until sugar has dissolved.
Remove from heat and let cool completely.
Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.
You can make ALL kinds of different simple syrup infusions by cooking and steeping herbs and spices in your simple syrup before storing.