Simple & Flavoured Syrups

Simple Syrup is not complicated. Primarily used to add sweetness to cocktails it's a useful thing to have around in the kitchen when making up recipes. Though available to buy it's far cheaper to make yourself.

Simple syrup consists simply of sugar disolved in water, in a ratio by volume of between 1:1 and 2:1. There's no right or wrong ratio to use, I have a sweet tooth so 2:1 is my preference. It is possible to dissolve more sugar this than this, but doing so requires an emulsifier (when gum arabic the result is called gomme). You can use white or brown sugar, the latter making the resultant liquid a pleasant golden colour.

Ingredients to make 1 litre:
  • 1 Pint Water
  • 900g Sugar
Heat water in a pan with the sugar and stir until fully disolved. Try not too boil or let too much of the water evaporate. Once done allow to cool, bottle then store in the fridge. I normally make a litre at a time as it keeps for several months.

It's possible to inject flavours into the syrup whilst heating, that will then come through in the drink (cocktails, coffee etc) you make. Commercial vendors choose names for their flavours that grossly over exagerate the contents, such as tiramisu for coffee, marshmallow for vanilla etc. When you're sold a Gingerbread Latte all you're getting is is a standard latte with cinamon and ginger syrup. Examples of those that you can make yourself include:
  • Tea: add tea bags (earl grey is a common choice) then remove when infused
  • Coffee: Replace water with good quality brewed coffee.
  • Chocolate: Melt the chocolate in water as it heats. See my white chocolate syrup post for more info.
  • Herbs: Mint is the obvious choice. Muddle in the pan with a bit of water, then add the rest and sugar. Strain before bottling.
  • Spice: Add whole/cracked spices (cloves, nutmeg, cinamon etc) to the water then strain before bottling.
  • Fruit: Substitute juice for water or use peel.
  • Colourings: Easily add blue, red, green colour to cocktails. Syrup will sink in most liquids, allowing you to create naff 'sunrise' effects.
It's prudent to make a small amount first, then a larger batch when you know its good.


  1. I'm Philippa O said...:

    this is a really good idea, i'd love to have some flavoured syrups handy to add to soda water among other things...

Post a Comment