Sugar Syrup

Sugar syrup is the one thing you will need to easily make a range of cocktails, as well as some simple drinks and desserts. It’s a handy thing to have in the chiller and it keeps extremely well.There are three basic types of sugar syrup; Light, Simple and Heavy and the only difference between them is the ratio of sugar to water. And it goes something like this:

Light – 1 sugar : 2 water
Simple – 1 sugar : 1 water
Heavy – 2 sugar : 1 water

Most recipes will call for for simple syrup, but just because I like to be contrary, I make heavy syrup. It keeps longer, takes up less volume in the chiller and can be easily diluted to make the other two. The reverse is not the case. Once you made light syrup, you’re basically stuck with it unless you boil it up again with more sugar.

I like to very lightly flavour my syrup. I believe (rightly or wrongly) that it adds another dimension to the drinks. You can go crazy on the flavouring if you make a batch that is specific to your drink. Think dried chillies for a syrup used to make Mojitos. Now before you jump down my throat screaming that Mojitos are make with sugar crystals and not syrup, I’ll kindly ask which tablet that one was engraved on. Mixing sugar crystals to help with the muddling and then adding flavoured sugar syrup which dissolves more easily makes your life simpler and infinitely richer!

Here’s what you can do with your syrup and I’m not being rude:

Heavy Sugar Syrup

  • 100g castor sugar
  • 50ml water
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • peel of 1 orange

Make sure you have scrubbed your lemon and orange with hot water, to remove any waxy deposits that might be on them. I know it’s a pain , but it’s worth doing anyway. Put the sugar and water into a saucepan, add the lemon and orange peel and bring to a simmer. Once it has bubbled for a minute, you can switch it off and leave the syrup to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Strain it, fill it off into a jar or a lock-lock box (is that a brand?) and keep it in the chiller until mold brows on top, which is a very, very long way off.

And for the mathematically challenged, here are the recipes for the other two:

Simple Sugar Syrup

  • 100g castor sugar
  • 100ml water
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • peel of 1 orange

Light Sugar Syrup

  • 50g castor sugar
  • 100ml water
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • peel of 1 orange

Ready to drink Lemonade

Here’s something I keep in the chiller for hot days. Add a splash of vodka for a more adult version.

  • 100ml heavy syrup
  • 75ml lemon, lime or kalamansi juice of a mix of all.
  • 175ml soda water
  • (150ml vodka)
  • fresh mint leaves, kaffir lime leaves, basil leaves or anything else you fancy
  • lots of ice

Mix the syrup with the lemon juice, fill a glass with ice, fill half with the mix and top the other half with soda (and vodka), stick the leaves in, give it a stir and enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: