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Flavored Simple Syrup: How to Make It, How to Use It

Cardamom simple syrup added to soda water.
Cardamom simple syrup added to soda water.
Rachel Miller

Simple syrups are often found behind your favorite bar, used to flavor and add a bit of sweetness to your cocktails. Equal parts sugar and water (or liquid), they can be flavored with a multitude of things, but if you aren't mixing up cocktails every night, what else can you use them for?

See also: How to Make Your Own Almond Milk

Multiple simple syrups.
Multiple simple syrups.
Rachel Miller

Our refrigerator looks like a science experiment with jars of crazy simple syrup flavors piling up. There are so many great uses for simple syrup beyond the cocktail. Never forget about those cocktails though, play around with crazy new flavors using fruits, herbs, and spices.

Soda Flavoring

A few years ago, I quit pop, or soda, as everyone not from northeastern PA calls it. I do drink soda water all day long, though, and am crazy about my soda stream. Sometimes, I like to change up my club soda with lime regime and add a little cardamom simple syrup to the mix.

½ cup sugar ½ cup water 5 cardamom pods, cracked

Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Allow to cool completely. Strain and store in a sealed container, refrigerated.

Add a couple teaspoons to your soda water and serve over ice.

Berry Sauce

I love that we are in berry season and nothing is better than berries over vanilla ice cream. Sometimes, to kick it up a notch, I add some simple syrup to the berries, to give them a little sweetness and added flavor.

½ cup sugar ½ cup water Handful of mint leaves ripped apart

Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Allow to cool completely. Strain and store in a sealed container, refrigerated.

Toss with berries. Refrigerate. Spoon over ice cream.

 

Moisten your cakes with some flavored simple syrup.
Moisten your cakes with some flavored simple syrup.
Rachel Miller

Moisten Cake

Simple syrup will add moisture to cakes, and can also add flavor. Apply with a brush to your cake before you add frosting, it soaks right into the cake.

If you want to kick up the flavor of your orange cake, for instance, use orange juice in lieu of water for your simple syrup. Add a vanilla bean pod, too. There are so many amazing combinations. Use the leftover syrup for your soda flavoring.

½ cup orange juice ½ cup sugar 1 vanilla bean

Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Allow to cool completely. Strain and store in a sealed container, refrigerated.

Brush over your cake before frosting.

Coffee Sweetener & Flavoring

With all these leftover simple syrups sitting on the bar, I walk by them and wonder what else can I do to use them up so I can create new flavors. A couple teaspoons in my morning coffee adds a little sweetness and a lot of flavor.

½ cup sugar ½ cup sugar 1 cinnamon stick 1 peel of orange

Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Allow to cool completely. Strain and store in a sealed container, refrigerated.

Add a couple teaspoons to your coffee.

Rachel Miller is a pastry chef and food writer in Phoenix, where she bakes, eats, and single-handedly keeps her local cheese shop in business. You can get more information about her pastry at www.pistolwhippedpastry.com, or on her blog at www.croissantinthecity.com.

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