Flavored Simple Syrup
CREATIVE MULES SERIES
We’re back for Week Two of our Creative Mules Series! In case you missed last week’s post, we’re doing a three-post series all about how to kick your Moscow Mules (and cocktails, in general) up a notch.
Last week we covered How to Make Infused Vodka, and this week we’re telling you all about how to Make-Your-Own Flavored Simple Syrups. Next week’s lesson, our third and final, will give you the complete Low-Down on Garnishes.
After reading through each of these posts, you’ll be able to create endless flavor combinations with your Moscow Mules and have a solid foundation in some of the most important basics of bartending. We don’t doubt that you’ll be calling yourself a mixologist in no time!
So, let’s talk a bit about flavored simple syrups…
If you know anything about a good cocktail, you’ll know that a touch of sweetness is always a key component. It provides the perfect balance to the alcohol, acid and bitterness that are prevalent in boozy beverages, and just the right amount can bring a drink straight from ho-hum to highbrow.
The great news about making flavored simple syrups at home is that the process is very similar to making your own infused vodka, with just a little bit more cooking involved.
A basic simple syrup is very easy to master as long as you keep one easy ratio in mind: one part sugar to one part water. This means that, depending on what amount of simple syrup you’d like to make, you’ll always be combining equal amounts sugar and water. The water is typically heated up in a small saucepan over the stove, with the sugar being added once the water is warm enough to dissolve it fairly quickly. Even if you’re not interested in flavored simple syrups, it’s important to have some of the regular stuff on hand in any home bar for when the cocktail-making mood strikes.
However, if you ARE interested in whipping up some flavored sweet stuff (which we highly recommend,) the process is quick, easy and painless. Once you’ve dissolved the sugar in the warm water and let it come to a sort of syrupy thickness, you simply add any flavorings you’d like and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
Once cool, you’ll want to strain out the solids (just as you did with your infused vodka) and then store your newly flavored syrup in the refrigerator until ready to use. Easy as that!
Here is a list of equipment you’ll need, which you’ll see is very close to what you already have on hand for making your infused vodka:
- Your chosen flavoring
- Small saucepan
- Bowl or glass measuring cup (for cooling the syrup)
- Mason jars (or any airtight glass jar)
- Fine mesh strainer, coffee filter or cheesecloth
MINT SIMPLE SYRUP
GINGER SIMPLE SYRUP
VANILLA SIMPLE SYRUP
COCONUT SIMPLE SYRUP
Just as it may have taken you a few tries to figure out your perfect infused vodka method, the recipe for flavored simple syrups is also highly subjective. The amount of flavoring to be added will once again vary greatly depending on your personal tastes and how much simple syrup you want to have on hand. However, here’s a general recipe to get you started and help you embark on your own flavored simple syrup journey.
Flavored Simple Syrup
Makes 1/2 – 3/4 cup syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup of your chosen flavoring (closer to 2 tablespoons for dried herbs, whole spices, etc. and closer to ¼ cup for fresh herbs, fruits or vegetables)
- Place water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Once water is simmering, add sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture reduces a bit, becoming slightly thicker. Turn off heat.
- Place chosen flavoring in a heatproof bowl or glass measuring cup, then pour simple syrup mixture over it. Let sit for at least two hours.
- Once mixture has steeped and come to room temperature, pour the now-flavored syrup through a fine mesh strainer into an airtight glass vessel such as a Mason jar. Seal jar tightly and store syrup in the refrigerator until ready to use.
And remember, for the ultimate icy cold flavor, be sure to serve your
Creative Mule in a pure copper mug…
Don’t have one? No worries!
And if you’ve got leftover gin, lime juice and ginger beer on hand, why not try out a few different mule varieties?
Grab a copy of our Mulehead recipe book for over 75 more creative takes on the classic Moscow Mule.
Your taste buds will thank you!