As the name indicates, simple syrup is really one of the easiest things to make at home. Simple syrup is often also known as gomme, simple sugar syrup, simple sugar, and bar syrup. It is used for a variety of things including, but certainly not limited to, sweetening beverages like iced tea and alcohol-based drinks, cereals, fresh fruits, and desserts. Once made, simple syrup will generally last between one and three months in the fridge before spoiling.
The Ingredients and Equipment:
Granulated Sugar (or Superfine Sugar, your preference)
Whisk or Spoon
Funnel or Spouted Measuring Cup
It’s all about the Ratio:
When making simple syrup the most frequently used ratio of sugar to water is 1:1 – that means one part sugar to one part water. So, if you use one cup of sugar, use a cup of water and so on. Many recipes, for sweeter simple syrup, may ask for a 2:1 ratio, or two parts sugar to one part water. Depending on your preference, you may opt for one over the other.
Variations on Ingredients:
Though you will always need sugar and water to make simple syrup, you may find that a particular dessert or beverage recipe calls for a flavored syrup. This is completely easy! For example, adding the zest of a lemon, lime, or orange (about a teaspoon) plus even a little of the liquid (up to ¾ of a cup) will give the syrup the necessary flavor. You can also use ginger! Just remember to strain the solids out before storing it.
In your saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally. (It’s a good idea to start with hot tap water to help the process along, though it isn’t necessary.) Let the mixture boil until all of the sugar is dissolved. Once all of the sugar is completely dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer to the storage container (using a spouted measuring cup or funnel to avoid spills) and stick it in the fridge.
What to Look For:
You’ll know that you’re on the right track when your spoon or whisk drips in a stream, like syrup would. Don’t get discouraged if you think your syrup is too thin – allowing it to cool will also thicken it up a bit.
You can also make simple syrup in the microwave, though the process involves a little more attention as you need to take the mixture in and out of the microwave every couple of minutes to give it a good stir. Others use a countertop method involving hot tap water, a whisk, and a bowl, but that is a painstakingly long process that doesn’t result in very thick syrup.