Simple syrups are easy to make, and are a great thing to have on hand to use in a variety of recipes. Simple syrups are made out of sugar (or honey) and water and cooked into an easy syrup. They are a great thing to have on hand year round but especially in the summer. "Why," you ask? Two words: chilled drinks.
At some time in your life you've probably tried to stir a spoonful of sugar into a chilled beverage and discovered how dreadfully hard it is to dissolve sugar, or even thick honey, into an already cold drink. The first reason you should have simple syrup nearby during the summer months is because we tend to drink a lot more chilled drinks in the summertime. Whether you are making iced coffee, or homemade lemonade, simple syrups don't need to be dissolved into your beverage, but can easily be stirred in with the use simple syrup. It makes life so much easier. Plus, simple syrups are great for making cocktails!
Secondly, you can use simple syrup to easily and lightly sweeten any fruit salad. My favorite is to use a honey simple syrup and fresh mint to dress fruit salad. It's a delicious, simple way to make your fruit salad pop.
And finally, making up a bottle full of simple syrup is wonderful for casual summer hospitality! I like to only very lightly sweeten my drinks (if at all) leaving each guest the option to sweeten to taste. Use a pretty cap latch bottle to store simple syrup in, and to serve it, and you are set for a summer of easy beverage sweetening for guests.
Simple directions for making simple syrup:
Place equal amounts of water and sugar in a pot, bring to a simmer and whisk until dissolved. Take off heat and cool (and be careful that no pets or children can get into the hot sugar mixture). Store in the refrigerator in a cap latch bottle.
- I like to use evaporated organic cane sugar for a light flavor, coconut sugar for a robust caramel-like flavor, and honey for a sweet and mellow flavor.
- You can also boil down the syrup to become much thicker (and sweeter per tablespoon). Simmer down to half the liquid amount, as desired.