Easy Simple Syrup

Basically all simple syrups, as the name implies, are pretty simple to make at home. What makes this recipe easy is that there isn’t even a trip to the grocery needed to make a simple syrup of the day. If you’ve got some sugar, water and a stove then you’re all set to make a basic simple syrup. If you wanted flavored simple syrup, then look to some items that might have otherwise been marked for the compost pile.

Below is the recipe for simple syrup along with ideas to make some pretty flavorful simple syrups, most of which you probably won’t find on the local grocery shelf. What does that mean? It means using whatever scraps might be leftover from dinner preparation… whether it be in the form of rinds, peels or cuttings! Experiment at home to make some of the tastiest cocktails ever.

easy simple syrup

Easy Simple Syrup

Instructions to Make Easy Simple Syrup From Scraps

  1. Stir one part sugar and one part water in a small saucepan.
    Completely stir equal amounts of sugar and water together in a pan) (For example, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water.) The mixture will be cloudy.

  2. Heat the mixture on the stove over medium heat.
    Once the mixture begins to simmer around the edges, remove it from the heat. At this point, the mixture will become completely clear and is no longer cloudy in appearance.

  3. Add a flavor.
    Add peels of fruit or other desired food scraps to flavor the syrup and quickly place a lid on the pan to allow the mixture to seep. See the next section for some interesting ideas on simple syrup flavors. Let the syrup cool on the counter.

  4. Once cool, remove the food scraps with a slotted spoon before using in your favorite cocktail recipe or storing in the refrigerator for later use. Leaving the flavor scraps in the simple syrup will only shorten the shelf life of the simple syrup.

Notes:
1) If making multiple flavors, pour the syrup into different jars and then place lids on the containers while they seep.

2) When deciding how much simple syrup to make, it’s good to know that one cup plus one cup does not always equal 2 cups. One cup of sugar and one cup of water will make about 1 & 1/2 cups of simple syrup. Keep that in mind with whatever quantity of ingredients are used, just remember that the ratio is always 1:1 of water to sugar.

Easy Simple Syrup

Scrappy Ideas for Flavoring Simple Syrup

Although citrus peels make great simple syrups, here are some additional ideas for using typically trashed items to flavor delicious simple syrups.

Pineapple skin, thick and not really good for anything else, will make a killer simple pineapple syrup that can boost any Piña Colada recipe to the next level.



Mint stems will still make a tasty mint syrup, even after the leaves have been used.

Ginger peels make a simple syrup that will elevate the taste of plain old tonic water or a classic gin and tonic.

Mango pits, from which it is impossible to ever scrape all the fruit, will make a simple syrup that can transform most any drink toward the tropical side.

Simple Syrup Shelf Life

The shelf life of homemade simple syrup.
Simple syrup stored in the refrigerator will last for 3 to 4 weeks whereas flavored syrups will last for 1 to 2 weeks. The shelf life of flavored syrup is generally about half that of plain simple syrup. If the flavors are left in the syrup, the shelf life will only be further shortened.

Why does flavored simple syrup have a shorter shelf life?
Remember when we always say that a dish will only last as long as it’s quickest expiring ingredient? This is the perfect example of that, introducing a fruit or vegetable into the mixture makes the mixture last only as long as the fruit, vegetable or herb. To find out how long fruits and vegetables last see our fruit and vegetable menus.

Easy Simple Syrup

Additional Info

Another way to incorporate fruit scraps with drinks is to dehydrate them. If you don’t have a dehydrator then bake things like apple skins and orange peels in a single layer in a 200°F oven until they get hard and curl. They can then be ground and then combined with either salt or sugar. Lightly moisten the rim of glasses and then dip them into this mixture for an extra bit of flavor with each sip.

Ice cubes can also include food scraps such as cucumber peel or strawberry tops. They look pretty and then also will add flavor as they melt into a drink.

To find out how long other syrups last, see our syrup page.

To find out how long sugar lasts, see our sugar page.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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