Simple Syrup

all photography Blue Caleel 

Many people boil simple syrup in a pot on the stove, but I skip that whole sticky 
mess by making it directly in a heat-proof container with boiling water.
A canning jar works perfectly for both mixing and storing.

Put one cup of sugar into a canning jar.  Pour one cup of boiling water on top of the sugar
(Canning jars or glass measuring cups are ideal because the measurements are printed on the side.)

The mixture will be cloudy at first.  Stir with a wooden spoon until all of the 
sugar crystals dissolve and the mixture is clear.

Finished simple syrup.  To store it, let it cool, seal with a lid, and keep 
it refrigerated for up to six months.

Note how clear the simple syrup is in the middle jar.  We're getting ready to make Lemonade in 
this photo.  If you'd like the lemonade recipe click here.  Simple syrup can be used in many sauces and cocktails.  I also use it to candy baby fennel for my lobster, fennel, and grapefruit salad.

Simple syrup is called "simple" because it is the easiest thing in the world to make.  There are only two ingredients:  water and sugar.  It is crazy to me that people spend absurd amounts of money to buy pre-made simple syrup to mix drinks when it is so simple to make.  

The mistake that some people make when they use a stove method instead of my method is that they boil the mixture on the stove for an extended time. This allows the water to evaporate, and then sugar crystals begin to form a candy.  We're not making candy today, so we can skip all of those details.  Today we're just simply dissolving sugar crystals with boiling water in a heat-proof container.  Simple!


Makes 2 cups

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup boiling water

Place sugar in a heat-proof container. (Preferably glass, but a metal pot works too.)

Boil water in an electric tea kettle or by using another method. Pour boiling water directly over sugar.

Stir sugar until the crystals dissolve and the mixture is clear.  Let it cool before adding it to cold drinks.  It can also be made in advance for a party.  To store:  let it cool, seal with a lid and keep refrigerated for up to six months.  

Maili's Notes:  I highly recommend storing in a clean glass jar instead of plastic.  Plastic is harder to keep clean, and if there is anything left in plastic the simple syrup can mold. If you decide to make a flavored simple syrup with a lemon peel or an orange peel or some kind of herb, the storage life is shorter--only about two weeks.

If I'm making a huge batch of simple syrup for an event, I make an extra concentrated version because it will be less volume and lighter to carry.  When I get on site I add more water.   The extra concentrated version is two parts sugar to one part water.  (For example:  4 quarts sugar to 2 quarts water.)  I usually make it in a heat-proof Cambro that you can find in a restaurant supply store or online.

Maili Halme


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