Tuesday, August 24, 2010

sweet!

I've been busy enjoying my first somewhat pain-free day in almost a week - doing things around the house, answering emails, shopping, and experimenting with new flavors of simple syrup, which is totally our new favorite thing.

If you go into a liquor store, you'll find what is sometimes called "rock candy syrup" although why anyone would ever buy it is beyond me. Simple syrup was called that for a reason, you know - making it is as easy as boiling equal parts water and sugar and then adding a flavor to steep as it cools. The syrups dissolve instantly, add sweetness and flavor, last up to two months in your fridge, and are excellent as a healthier alternative for soda when added to plain sparkling water.

It all began with the quest to make the perfect mojito. Mike didn't like crushed mint leaves cluttering up his drink and we both certainly liked the idea of nearly instant cocktails - a little rum, a little seltzer, a little syrup and bingo bango, Mojito Monday in a flash. (the first batch taught us that the second batch needed fresh lime juice.) We've also made a lemon ginger syrup and have plans for fizzy creamsicles - orange juice, vodka, seltzer and vanilla syrup. Yummy, right? I'd also like to make a hot and sweet chile pepper syrup, although I have no idea what use I'd have for it.

(Have you ever made a simple syrup? If so, leave the recipe in the comments!)

17 comments:

Robb Allen said...

I've made it a few times.

Using vanilla, when mixed with seltzer you get Creme Soda, which I love.

We've also made it with blueberries for a blueberry syrup for pancakes.

SayUncle said...

"hot and sweet chile pepper syrup"

Bloody Mary.

Laura said...

How would I make mint simple syrup? Stick in some mint leaves after it's dissolved, then pick them out after it's cooled? And what do you store the syrup in?

I want to try this now. Instant, easy mojitos sounds very tempting

Ed Rasimus said...

The "simple" simple syrup rule was always one to one: one cup sugar to one cup water. The infusion would be by experimentation. I'm thinking the mint leaves could either by strained out before refrigerating your syrup (or after a week in the refrig and prior to using).

As for hot & sweet chile pepper, they use red or green jalapenos for jelly. The sugar makes the sweet and the pepper makes the hot. You might explore the wide range of chiles for the flavor you like. I'd say no to chipotle (too smokey) and unless you have asbestos tongue, no to Scotch bonnet or habanero. But serranos, anejos, anchos or even cascabels could give you an extensive flavor palette.

Store in any jar in the refrigerator. If crystals form, simply reheat to dissolve them.

drjim said...

My wife has made a ginger flavored ss to use in marinade.

CircuitGizmo said...

Simple syrup, root beer concentrate, and Everclear. People ask me to make this all the time.

reflectoscope said...

A fizzy creamsicle? Breda, I like the way you think.

Jim

Casey said...

My wife does candied citrus peel every year around the holidays. Lemons, Limes, Oranges, Grapefruit, whatever you like. Cut the peel into strips about a quarter inch wide, and make sure you remove all of the white pith. She puts them in a pot and covers the with water, brings it to a boil, then drains it and does it again with fresh water. After she drains that, she adds the water and sugar for simple syrup, and simmers it up with the peels. Then remove the peels and roll them in sugar for a candy treat.

The resultant citrus syrup is awesome in most cocktails. I prefer a jigger of it in a tumbler of a good anejo or reposado tequila.

Casey

PresterSean said...

I make regular simple syrup, with mint and with orange oil added for sweet tea in the summer.

Dominique said...

I've made ginger syrup before - get fresh ginger, slice thinly, and add to the water-sugar mixture when boiling. After boiling, strain out the ginger bits. Makes for a yummy dessert topping.

Buckshot said...

I have ONLY made it for my pancakes. Does that count?

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup water

Boil till hot and all sugar disloved. Pour hot (or cool) over pancakes.

Buckshot

CircuitGizmo said...

"Boil till hot and all sugar disloved."

I has a sad.

William said...

How about picking a large amount of wild violet flowers, the more purple the better. Covering in water and boiling. Drain the soggy flowers and then add your sugar and cook until syrup. It has a pleasant odor and taste. It used to be the basis of most all medicines. It naturally goes well with Vodka or gin and a little carbonated water and it is purple.

smartdogs said...

Rose petal syrup: pack as many fresh picked red rose petals into a stainless steel saucepan as you can. Cover with a measured quantity of water. Steep on low heat (no boiling) until the petals turn white and the water turns a gorgeous pink.

Strain petals (and any stray bugs) out. Add sugar to equal water and heat slowly until it dissolves. This recipe seems to benefit from a low, slow heat that keeps the aromatic rose essence from boiling off.

This is great on crepes, fresh peaches or yogurt. Nice as a sweetener for green tea - and very, very nice with bourbon on the rocks.

Mose Jefferson said...

Whatever you do, wash your hands thoroughly before starting, or else it all comes out tasting like Hoppes. I just found this out myself.

Zendo Deb said...

If memory serves, Rock Candy Syrup is a key ingredient in about half the drinks at Trader Vic's. Not is a Mai Tai, but in enough other drinks - all sure to result in hangovers.

God I wish there was a Trader Vic's closer than Atlanta.

seeker_two said...

Try using peppermint or speariment mint candies....I've used them in mojitos and hot chocolate with great success....