Syrup to sweeten your cocktails

Syrup – simple or flavoured – has long been used to sweeten cocktails. In a liquid form, it’s much easier to add sugar to your drink as it is already dissolved and you can easily adjust how much you use to get the perfect balance for you.

I’ve rounded up some cocktail syrup recipes from the wonderful web.

Simple syrup

This is a simple, basic recipe you can use in all cocktails that call for syrup as an ingredient.

Simple syrup

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water

Add your ingredients to a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Allow to cool, then pour into a glass jar and seal tightly.

Refrigerated, this should keep for about a month.

If you like your syrup sweeter, you can try rich version, which ups the ratio to two parts sugar to one part water. You can also substitute white sugar with demerara, a type of raw cane sugar with a richer taste. For a more floral taste, substitute your ½ cup granulated sugar with ½ cup honey – mind the botanicals will be very subtle, more so than the honey on its own.

Once your simple syrup is cool, you can stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract (NOT essence) for a different taste. Make sure you label all your bottles with the type of syrup and the date you made it.

Mint syrup

Mint syrup

½ cup natural brown sugar
¾ cup fresh mint leaves

Place the sugar and mint into a bowl, then add ½ cup of boiling water, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Steep the mint leaves for 15 minutes, then strain into a jar and store.

If space in your fridge is limited, freeze your syrups in ice cube trays. Once frozen solid, pop them into an easy-seal plastic back, name and date, and stack them up in your freezer. Then, when getting ready to party, thaw as many as you think you might require. Don’t be tempted to think it’s just another plain old ice cube, as it will ruin the balance of your drink – first as you mix and secondly when it thaws in your cocktail.

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