Like sweet & sour mix, I always have a small bottle of simple syrup in my refrigerator because it is essential to making creative cocktails at home. As crucial as the cocktail shaker, simple syrup is merely a mixture of sugar that has been dissolved into water. The solution is cooked over low heat until clear and then boiled for a minute or so. It's an important ingredient in many drinks (like Hurricanes) because it is used to sweeten the mixture. Plain sugar, when added to an icy cocktail shaker with hard liquor, does not dissolve well into the liquids. However if the sugar is in liquid form, as it is in a simple syrup (sometimes called a sugar syrup), the drink will be smoothly and lightly sweetened. To make a simple syrup takes no time at all and you can easily infuse it with fresh herbs or fruits. For the recipe that will last for up to a month in the fridge, read more
It seems like you can get flavored syrups for everything: flavored coffees, flavored alcohols, flavored water, the list doesn't seem to end. However, commercial syrups aren't always the greatest and can often taste quite terrible. So why not skip the risk and make your own simple syrups?
First of all they're called simple syrups for a reason, they're ridiculously simple. All it takes is a little bit of sugar, water and any number of flavorings. My personal favorite is a ginger syrup; I like to keep some on hand in the fridge and mix it with sparkling water for a make-shift ginger ale.
To learn how to make your own simple syrups, including my favorite ginger syrup, read more