This is a medium-bodied sugar syrup, suitable for almost all recipes calling for simple syrup, including the eminently giftable Nutmeg Cake. Use the syrup at your discretion, depending on how sweet you like things. [Editor’s Note: Not sure how to unleash your imagination when using inner simple syrup? Read the LC Savvy Simple Syrup Suggestions for Sweet Tooths Note.] It’s very easy to make and can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to several weeks as a useful standby for cocktails. Lemon juice prevents the sugar from re-crystallizing and cuts the sweetness a little while remaining subtly in the background. If you would like to flavor the syrup, it is best to do so with just the portion that you are going to use so that the rest of the batch can be used for other purposes.–Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra
LC Savvy Simple Syrup Suggestions for Sweet Tooths Note
Not to be confused with standard simple syrup, this sugar syrup calls for a higher proportion of sugar to water than the usual 1:1 ratio. This makes it particularly welcoming to sweet tooths as well as savory infusions of flavor, whether you wish to impart notes of citrus, as in the recipe that follows, or warming spice, vanilla bean, fresh herbs, even, as in the Nutmeg Cake recipe mentioned above, a splash of booze. The aromatic infused syrup, which dissolves readily in liquids and makes a lovely glaze, can then be used to sweeten iced tea or cocktails as well as impart infusion of sweet flavor to baked goods. As noted above, the basic unflavored sugar syrup keeps on hand for weeks.
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- Generous 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice strained
- Rose water or orange flower water to taste (optional)
- Place the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. If using rose or orange flower water, stir it into the cold syrup a few drops at a time until you achieve the desired effect. Cover and refrigerate for up to several weeks.
Originally published November 21, 2010