One of the most common ingredients in both cocktails and coffee bars, simple syrup is featured in countless recipes from the Tom Collins to the mojito. It can get the job done in a classic Old Fashioned, too, when you don’t feel like muddling sugar cubes. While overpriced store-bought options appear on retail shelves, simple syrup is fast to put together and less of a hassle to make yourself than go out to buy.
What is simple syrup?
Simple syrup is just sugar water. The reason we use simple syrup is that granulated sugar takes time to dissolve in liquid and can be particularly stubborn in cold drinks like many cocktails, leaving the final product unbalanced with a thick sludge of undissolved sugar at the bottom. Creating simple syrup beforehand pre-dissolves the sugar so it mixes evenly throughout an entire cocktail.
Most simple syrup is made in a 1:1 ratio of water to granulated white sugar, making it easy to throw together in a pinch. Simply mix equal parts sugar and warm water and stir until dissolved. When used in cocktails that call for “sugar” as opposed to “simple syrup,” simply double the amount of syrup to account for dilution.