Every so often, I invent or read about or discover a food thing that I then become obsessed with. This week, friends, that thing is simple syrup.
Simple syrup is a fancy term for “sugar water,” and it’s typically used to flavor cocktails or other drinks like soda and coffee. All your favorite hip bars use many handcrafted simple syrups.
My simple syrup kick started around Thanksgiving, when I had a bunch of sage in my fridge that needed to get used up. I decided to steep it in a standard simple syrup mixture, which is typically 1 part water to 1 part sugar.
To make simple syrup, all you do is melt the water and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. If you want to add in something like an herb, add that too, and cook it all together for at least 20 minutes. Then turn off the heat, and let it sit for a bit longer to let the flavors infuse.
I added about a teaspoon of Sage Simple Syrup to glasses of sparkling wine we had for Thanksgiving, along with some fresh cranberries, and it was lovely.
I decided to put the rosemary growing in our backyard (by far our most hearty, plentiful herb!) to use in the same way. It’s so good! I have been using the Rosemary Simple Syrup to make a homemade soda of sorts: 1 tablespoon syrup, 1 can of plain seltzer water (what can I say I’m a slave to the seltzer) and a garnish of fresh fruit or herbs.
It would also go great in any kind of gin cocktail, or even something darker and moodier made with bourbon. Simple syrups make a delightful homemade Christmas gift, too.
Herb Simple Syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
A handful (about 1/2 cup) fresh herbs: sage, rosemary and thyme work best (there’s no need to
Combine everything in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil over medium-low heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 20 minutes.
Turn off heat, let sit for another 20 minutes. Strain syrup to remove herbs. Store in fridge in a small bottle or container for up to 1 month.