One of the easiest ways to sweeten up your drinks and add some extra flavor to your desserts, is by making your own plain or flavored simple syrups.
One of my happy moments in life is when I get to drink a tall and icy ginger beer, it
speaks yells summertime!
I just love it when the right amount of kick from ginger mingles with a bit of sweet and then you get that hint of lemon. They all come together perfectly in this version of flavored simple syrup, pour some in a glass and top off with some sparkling water, add a sprig of mint or twist of lemon and life is good. Easy peasy ginger beer!
Why should you have a bottle of plain or flavored simple syrups waiting for you in your fridge? Well besides adding to some to sparkling water, or your iced tea or coffee, think cocktail hour my friend! Yes indeed. And let’s not leave out the array of desserts, pancakes and waffles or even to help make that medicine go down (thank you Mary Poppins) that benefit from a drizzle of simple syrup!
Some of the flavors that I my kids enjoy the most are raspberry lime and blueberry lemon… strawberry, blackberry – okay, so they enjoy just about all of the fruity ones. The wonderful thing about making your own flavored simple syrups is that you can take just about any fruit, herb or spice and experiment until your plum tuckered. Plus you can also try the different sugars or sweeteners with all of the different sweet notes to give the syrup a different flavor and even color. I used a regular white sugar for a basic simple syrup which of course is clear, but I also like to use the pure cane sugar that gives a hint of molasses and is a golden amber color.
If you need more inspiration, you can check out these great recipes from Saveur, I’m thinking of the chili spiked one myself.
Think of what you are wanting to use it for and flavor the syrups accordingly.
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Water
- 1 cup fresh or frozen Blueberries
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1 cup fresh or frozen Raspberries
- Juice of 1 Lime
- ¼ cup sliced or grated fresh Ginger
- Juice of 2 - 3 Lemons (1/4 cup)
- Sprigs of fresh Mint, optional or to garnish
- Handful of fresh Mint
- 1 Vanilla pod or 1 tsp. Vanilla extract or paste
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add both ingredients and bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally or until the sugar has fully dissolved.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Store in airtight jar, can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 - 3 weeks.
- Add your favorite fruit, herb or spice to the syrup mixture and continue as above, reduce heat and allow to simmer or mellow for about 5 - 8 minutes (depending on the flavor your using), Sieve if necessary, allow to cool and store as directed above.