Simple syrups are an easy way to sweeten cold summer drinks and are easy to make! If you are a cocktail lover, you have probably seen recipes calling for simple syrup and yes, liquor stores sell it, but it is honestly one of the easiest recipes to DIY. Strawberry simple syrup is a staple in our house in the summer, but they are so versatile that you can use almost any fruit or herb to make them.
Simple syrups really come in handy when you need to sweeten a cold drink. Granulated sugar is difficult to use in a cold beverage because it takes so long to dissolve. That problem is solved when you use a simple syrup. The sugar is already dissolved and the beverage is easily sweetened.
The other thing you will absolutely love about simple syrups is you can make a variety of them – all types of flavors can work and they give you a great base for making drinks. Then just pick what you are in the mood for!
- Want something with a little kick, ginger syrup may fit the bill.
- Need to add some fruitiness, then go for strawberry or rhubarb.
- Want a little heady note, try lavender or a rose-flavored syrup.
The syrups I always have on hand in the summer are: Strawberry, Ginger, and Lavender. I keep a bottle of each in my refrigerator! They are all great in drinks, from lemonade and ice tea to mixed drinks – oh and they are delicious over ice cream.
How to Make a Simple Syrup
Simple syrups are just that – simple!
It’s a basic ratio of 1 part sugar to 1 part water plus whatever flavor you are using – if you are using a flavor, but it’s not necessary.
- Heat the water and sugar over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- For the strawberry syrup, I cut up a cup of strawberries and cooked them in the syrup for a good 10 minutes and then let them sit for another 10 minutes in the hot liquid.
- The berries break down and the color of the syrup slowly changes to pink.
- Once it’s cooked and the sugar is completely dissolved, and it has cooled slightly strain the syrup to remove the strawberries.
- Viola! Your pure strawberry simple syrup. I let it finish cooling in the pan and then bottle it up and store it.
- Keep it in a non-reactive container ( I love these cute little bottles for this – affiliate link) and store them in your fridge. They will last 3 – 4 weeks if kept cold.
- Each recipe makes just 8 oz. so any little bottle or jar will work just fine.
This is your basic recipe for simple syrup. Swap the strawberries with some sliced ginger, basil leaves, or lavender, or add a little basil or mint to the strawberries. A vanilla bean will work and in the winter, a cinnamon stick or star anise will make an interesting flavor for tea or even a warm mixed drink.
The possibilities are endless! Now, go and enjoy your Ice Tea with strawberry simple syrup. It will make your afternoon so nice!