Great Cocktails Are Built From The Ground Up
Many cocktail recipes call for simple syrup and ‘how to make simple syrup?’ is one of the most common questions we hear at our LA cocktail classes. Why do people want to know? Well, pre-made simple syrup can be prohibitively expensive in stores, it often comes in tiny bottles and in some cases it’s packed with preservatives, artificial sweeteners and added color.
We’ll tell you a secret: simple syrup is super easy and quick to make at home. You can batch huge quantities ahead of time and you can even get fancy and create your own flavors with very little effort.
What is simple syrup?
It’s all in the name. Simple syrup is a two ingredient concoction of sugar and water that adds sweetness and balance to craft cocktails. You’ll see it used everywhere from the snootiest bars to the most basic home kitchen.
How to make the best simple syrup
Combine 50% organic sugar with 50% water. Bring to a boil, stir until the sugar has dissolved and then leave to cool. Keep in a tightly lidded jar in your fridge and it will last for two weeks – or until your next cocktail night!
How to make home-made honey syrup
Buy the best honey you can find – we like organic orange blossom honey – and combine 50/50 with water. Like simple syrup, bring your mixture to a fast boil on the hob and then allow to cool. Voila!
How to customize simple syrup
You can use just about anything to add more dimension to your syrups. Spices and botanicals are a great way to to make something that tastes expensive and adds extra depth to cocktails. We love using fresh lemongrass, crushed juniper berries, lemon zest or ginger. It’s also fun to combine flavors: rosemary and clove, or – for the more adventurous – chile and white peppercorn are great options.
Just like basic simple syrup, start by combining equal parts cold water and sugar in a saucepan. Add your fresh flavors and slowly bring to the boil. When it reaches a rolling boil, remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain into a jar and store in the refrigerator until use.
As a rule, add about a tablespoon of herbs to flavor 5-10 oz of syrup. Play around with the quantities depending how subtle or deep you want the flavor.
How to use simple syrup
If you’re browsing cocktail recipes, you’ll see many of them call for an ounce of simple syrup but it’s also an awesome addition to many other types of recipes. Next time you make a batch, try drizzling over ice cream, sweetening coffee or tea, adding to pancake batter, or brightening a vinaigrette.
Our distillery secret
Ever notice the simple syrup we use at our cocktail classes is amber? We use delicious organic evaporated cane sugar at the distillery. You really can use any type of sugar you have handy 🙂