How to Make Flavored Simple Syrups for Everyday Use

Flavored syrups have many more uses than just flavoring cocktails. If you don't drink but still want to try some of the popular and interesting flavors in cocktails, just use the syrups in something else. You can even make them yourself at home. Learn a little about flavored simple syrups and you'll quickly become hooked.

What is Simple Syrup?

Simple syrup gets its name because of how simple it is to make. All you do is combine equal amounts of sugar and water and then boil them together until the sugar melts and slightly thickens the water. If you add more sugar to the mixture then you end up with thicker syrup. Too much sugar and you end up with candy. Beginners should start with the basic equal amounts recipe and then experiment later.

Once you have mastered simple syrup you can master flavoring it.

How to Make Flavored Simple Syrup

The easiest way to flavor simple syrup is to toss in a few drops of a concentrated flavoring or essential oil. You can find them in many different flavors and scents, and this makes the process incredibly easy. They are concentrated, so a couple of drops is more than enough. Make sure to read the instructions on the bottle.

For something more complicated, you can use your own ingredients to flavor simple syrup. Some ideas include fruits, spices, nuts, and even candy. Here's a quick look at how these flavors are infused in the syrup:

  • Fruits: Cook with the water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Strain the syrup to remove any clumps or seeds.
  • Spices and Herbs: Cook with the sugar and water and then strain to remove. It is best to use whole spices, such as cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, and whole nutmeg.
  • Nuts: Nuts are often soaked and then blended up into a paste before cooking with the sugar and water. Drain the result to remove clumps.
  • Candy: Cocoa powder will make chocolate syrup. Corn syrup becomes caramel syrup. Other candies, such as candy canes or candy corn, should be boiled down into a paste before cooking with the sugar and water.

What to Do with Flavored Simple Syrups

As mentioned earlier, simple syrups are most often used in cocktails, but nondrinkers can benefit from the yummy flavors, too. Toss that simple syrup into your coffee or tea. Add it on top of shaved ice or use it to make sorbet. Add it to juices for extra flavor or mix it with seltzer to make your own flavored sodas. Spread simple syrup between cake layers to not only add flavor but to keep the layers moist.

Simple syrups can create complex flavors for your food and drinks.