Recipe: Simple Syrup

5 Jul

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a coffee snob. A terrible, vocal coffee snob. At least I admit it. Granted, if I’m at a diner I drink whatever coffee is available. Bad coffee is much better than no coffee at all. But given the choice I make my coffee at home, using whatever method strikes me at the time (ceramic hand drip cone, vacuum coffee pot, stovetop espresso maker), half and half, and turbinado sugar. When I make a point to go out for coffee I’m super-picky and there are only a few shops I frequent. I don’t usually like iced coffee because when I think of coffee I think of it as being hot. “Coffee” means espresso, or drip, with sugar and cream, steaming in my hands. The desire for an iced coffee is something completely separate from my desire for coffee. When I want coffee (and I so often do) I want it strong and creamy-sweet. When I want iced coffee I like it to be strong, but I want more half and half than usual (like an iced au lait?) and yes, sugar. And yet sugar is a complete nightmare to dissolve in anything cold. I’ve been drinking my coffee iced more often because Boston is a nightmare of humidity. When I wake up sweating in my sheets my last thought is for a hot beverage, no matter how much I may love my hot coffee. (And let me tell you, I love it a lot.)

I usually just dissolve the sugar into the coffee before I let it cool and add ice, but I decided to make some simple syrup instead. The nice thing about having simple syrup around is that you can use it for alcoholic beverages too (woo-hoo!) and it’s easier to tailor your coffee once it’s already iced. Sometimes I add my sugar to the hot coffee, throw in ice and milk, and I realize that I added too much or too little sugar and there isn’t much I can do at that point. 😦  SIMPALLLLL SYRUP TO THE RESCUUUUE!


1 C water

1 C sugar (I used turbinado sugar)

Dash of vanilla extract (oooh, fancy!)

If you wanted you could also use a different extract – like ginger, or orange blossom, cinnamon. Just take into account what you want to use the finished product for. The most important part of this recipe is the water to sugar ratio, which should be one to one. So, if you wanted to lower or increase your quantities that’s fine as long as you keep it one to one.

Mix together your sugar, water and extract and heat to just boiling. Stir occasionally as it heats and make sure the sugar is dissolving. Keep it at a gentle simmer for a few minutes, then take off the heat and allow to cool.

Once cooled, pour into a bottle or jar for easy serving. I used this super-fancy jar.

My syrup is so dark because of the turbinado sugar. Mmm!

Mix into all of your delicious iced beverages.

Liiiiiike coffee!

MM, icey.

Your iced beverages will never suffer from lack of sweetness again!

❤ Stef

13 Responses to “Recipe: Simple Syrup”

  1. Jennifer July 5, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    I want the tall and skinny measuring glass. It is very cool.

    • steffanyf July 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

      Isn’t it?? I got it on sale at Anthropologie. I think I showed it to you when you visited back in December.

  2. heather July 6, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    I made a simple syrup just like this, but let it simmer away for a good 15 minutes with three crushed cardamom pods in it. I normally am “eh” about iced coffee (like you, if I want coffee that means I want HOT steaming coffee) until july and august when its disgusting here. Anyway, the cardamom syrup is EFFING incredible in iced coffee. SO good.

    • steffanyf July 6, 2010 at 7:24 pm #

      I didn’t let it simmer for too long because I was worried about it evaporating too much. The addition of cardamom sounds amazing, though. I like to put cinnamon in my iced coffee sometimes (and cinnamon+cardamom rock!) so I should definitely try that!

      • Heather H July 7, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

        I find that letting it simmer for a while only makes it so that you never accidentally water down the coffee with too much syrup! (which I’ve done with crappy store bought syrup). Also, now I feel like I need to try making a syrup with cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods. Yummm!!

  3. Federica July 28, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    Just found your blog!
    Greetings from Italy,

  4. Beck August 15, 2010 at 2:22 am #

    Where have you gone?

    • steffanyf August 15, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

      To California. I have a full time summer job and the kitchen here is not very big. The blogging will continue in September!

      • Beck August 17, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

        Great. I look forward to more. I only just found you and you went away!

      • steffanyf August 31, 2010 at 10:14 am #

        Oh! I promise I will be back soon. 🙂


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