Simple is an understatement, but this syrup can be as complex as you please. This syrup recipe is essentially sugar and water, but which sugar and what flavors may be added are up to you. You may use lemon juice for the citric acid if you desire.
The flavor of simple syrup depends on the sugar used and the degree of caramelization given to the sugar. If the sugar is caramelized before the addition of the water, the caramel flavor is retained in the syrup. Care must be taken not to overcook the sugar. It should never reach anything more than the soft-ball stage.
We’ve used Muscovado or Demerara sugars, added strawberries, raspberries, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, vanilla, bourbon, and dozens of other ingredients as well as producing simple syrups of varying levels of viscosity. The choices and options are endless, but the uses are essentially the same: inclusion in drinks, liqueurs or to moisten cakes.
The production of simple syrup generally means making sufficient quantities to meet your immediate needs. If you are using it for mixing drinks, pour the cooled syrup into plastic squeeze bottles that are soft and pliable. For liqueur making, keep the syrup in a jar, refrigerated until ready for use. When using for non-alcoholic beverages, such as ice cream sodas or New York Egg Creams, keep the syrup in a soft, pliable plastic bottle with a closeable cap.
By the way… did you know that there are no eggs in an Egg Cream?
- In a saucepan combine:
- 1 pound (450 g) sugar
- 1 Cup (2.4 dl) water
- 1/4 teaspoon citric acid
- Heat the mixture and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to simmer on reduced heat for 15 minutes.