Tag Archives: simple syrup

A Short Post Before The Long Post, or Simple Syrup, Part Deux

6 Feb
Here's an idea.  Mojito, anyone?

Here's an idea. Mojito, anyone?

So, I’ve had a couple of folks ask me what to do with their bountiful supplies of homemade simple syrup, flavored and otherwise.  I have put together a little list of ideas for you.  If you have other ideas you’d like to add, please leave them in the comments section.  I will be posting about Something Else Interesting later on, but I wanted to make sure y’all know what to do with your simple syrup this weekend.  Chris, from Beyond Ramen mentioned drizzling it into one’s mouth, and that’s a good start, but let’s broaden our horizons a bit, shall we?

First, though:  Erica, from In Erica’s Kitchen says that she uses hers as a receptacle for Meyer lemons that are just throwing themselves down from the trees, all willy-nilly.  Gee, it must be hard to be Erica.  Anyway, she is enjoying the Best Lemonade Ever.  Drew, from Cook Like Your Grandmother says that he keeps his way longer than a week or two, tightly covered.  He warns of crystallization.  I’ve never had that happen to me before, but I’m sure that it could happen.  He says just put the container in a pan of hot water and all will be well.  And for all of you with glucose tolerance issues, my friend Chef Keem makes a line of flavored agave nectars that you can use instead of simple syrup.  Check them out. Thanks to all of you who have commented and are so supportive of my wee little blog.  I appreciate it.

Right, then; here we go.

  • Sweeten your iced tea or coffee with it.
  • Brush it on cake layers to keep them moist and delightful.
  • Use it to make mixed drinks.  I love to make a margarita with lime simple syrup, Cointreau and tequila (thank you, Martha Stewart–that woman is NOT afraid of alcohol).
  • Add sparkling water to make instant soda.
  • Add to fruit purees to make a great sorbet base.
  • Make sour mix–equal parts lemon juice, lime juice and simple syrup is a good place to start, but experiment.  Make it as sweet or tart as you like.
  • Use it to candy stuff–maybe some ginger, as we’ve discussed before, or lemongrass.
  • Slice lemons really thinly, put them in a baking dish, cover with vanilla simple syrup and cover tightly with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees, F for 30-40 minutes.  Snacks!  Or garnish.

And that’s it, for now.  More later, though, folks.

PS The Beloved is just fine; thank you to those who have asked. (Marc, from [No Recipes] asked if he pulled through okay.  I think I like Marc’s sense of humor).

Simple Syrup Really IS Simple

5 Feb
Why would you EVER buy this stuff?!

Why would you EVER buy this stuff?!

This will be a short-ish post today, because I am Florence Nightingaling The Beloved after The Extraction.  Honestly, the whole thing was kind of a let down.  Things went very smoothly.  Which is great for him, don’t get me wrong.  But there have been no facebook-worthy moments.  I didn’t even take any pictures at all.  Sigh.  But, on the bright side, there is pudding and homemade tomato soup!

‘Member that post a few days ago about the Puzzle Sugar?  I listed a bunch of over-priced items that you could either make yourself or get for a lot less.  Simple syrup was on that list.  I got to thinking today, as The Beloved was convalescing in the bedroom, that it really might be the very height of either stupidity on the part of the consumer or sheer audacity on the part of the manufacturers.  What a racket!  I’m sure that manufacturers have made out like bandits, and certainly some duped consumers have felt smugly pleased with themselves as they pour this Elixir of the Gods into their martini creations.

Because I am thorough and also enjoy pointing out wasteful spending, I went to Google Shopping and typed in “simple syrup.”  Just to see what would happen.  What I thought would happen was that there would be a few hundred simple syrups on the market and that most of them would be for sale for well under $10 a bottle. This is what really happened:  in 0.13 seconds, Google went forth and gathered up all the simple syrup that is for sale on the Hinternet, brought it back and arranged it before me.  Guess how many bottles?  FIVE THOUSAND, FOUR HUNDRED, TWENTY-SIX!  Friends, that’s a lot of bottles. The Google Shopping bots went even further for me.  They kindly arranged them in price tiers: Under $3, $3-$4, $4-$9, $9-$30 and over $30! Seriously?!  So, I had to go see why I should spend thirty bucks on sugar and water.  To be fair, most of it is made for use in the pharmaceutical industry.  I guess they take Mary Poppins’ motto about a spoonful of sugar Very Seriously.  (Happy Anniversary, Mary Poppins). At any rate, you can buy some for $2008.56, if you’re interested.  I only hope that it comes in a container the size of a swimming pool and that the sugar is refined through a fine net woven from the hair of virginal mermaids.  By sylphs.  Who are left handed.

Then, I decided to see what my $9-$30 would get me.  Monin will sell me 1000ml of “Pure Cane Simple Syrup” for the low, low price of just $9.00.  Yay!  But wait!  There’s more!  My friends from the Sonoma Syrup Company–the ones who make my favorite vanilla extract–offer up Classic Simple Syrup.  It’s better than “Pure Cane Simple Syrup,” because it contains “just a hint of vanilla,” and can be yours for a mere $14.95! Oh, for shame, beloved Sonoma Syrup Company.

Let’s do the math, shall we?  If I want to make 1000ml of simple syrup, I’ll need 500ml of sugar.  That equals $0.74.  I know, because I cross-multiplied and then divided for you.  Now, I’m no genius, but I’m pretty sure that $0.74 is less than $9.00.  Because I am sure that the lure of expensive vanilla-scented simple syrup is strong, I will let you in on a secret.  If you add some vanilla extract to simple syrup, you will have vanilla simple syrup. I know; it boggles the mind, right?

Here are some other ways to flavor up your simple syrups.

  • Boil the water and sugar with some citrus zest.  Leave the zest in there to steep for several hours or for up to two days, then strain.
  • Do the same thing with mint leaves, lemon verbena leaves, some lavender flowers (go easy, or it will taste like soap) or even cilantro, basil or rosemary.  Use your imagination.  Ooh!  Cucumber!
  • Try steeping some cinnamon stick, star anise, used and washed vanilla beans or all spice berries.
  • Cut up some fresh ginger for ginger simple syrup.
  • How about using some coffee beans or cocoa nibs?
  • Maybe some habanero or jalapeno pepper would be interesting.
  • Add any kind of extract or emulsion that you’d like.

You can keep your simple syrup, flavored or otherwise, safely in the refrigerator for a week or two.

Anyway, the point is, there is no need to spend a ton of money on sugar and water in a bottle.   Unless you want to.  I can’t stop you, of course, but I might stand at the door of the store and taunt you as you make your purchase.  I’m just saying.

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