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For Today's Cocktail: Make Your Own Simple Syrup
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For Today's Cocktail: Make Your Own Simple Syrup

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The joy of going out for a great drink: the setting, the occasion, camaraderie, and paying to have someone else supply all the ingredients for an excellent cocktail. But sometimes that’s just not in the cards. A bad workday, phone calls, family, or you’re simply suffering from stimulation overload. You want to be in the quiet and serenity of home. And still enjoy a drink.

Enter the simple syrup. Why? Because it can make a good drink better. Many times, more affordable. How you say? Lemme share:

Equal parts water and sugar. That’s it. The magic begins when you add flavors to elevate your cocktail. For purposes of the blog, I’ll use 1 cup measurements.

In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add 1 cup of sugar*. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes. Pour into container of your choice and refrigerate.

Infusing flavors:

Citrus peel (not whole fruit)
Lemongrass (crush first to release flavor)
Mint
Basil
Ginger
Star anise

Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat, add ingredients to the hot mixture and let steep 30 minutes. Strain before placing into container. Any one of these are great on its own; play around to create your own taste sensation!

A splash or two to your liquor and topped with club soda or seltzer is lovely. Plus, no tipping.

Cheers, y’all.

*Feel free to use whatever kind of sugar you’d like, but the darker the sugar, the shorter the shelf life will be. I cannot advise sugar substitutes, as all of them behave differently when heated.

Read more from Rene at her blog, Brown is the New Black!

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