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From the bar: It’s a Simple Syrup Party!!

April 19, 2013

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Warm weather is here! And so is the weekend! Extra exclamation points for that!!!!!!!!!!!! This weekend I have major plans to do absolutely nothing while laying out by my pool with many a cold, fruity cocktail in hand. Life is hard, I know. I love mixing drinks and experimenting with cocktails. I’m completely fascinated with mixology and I’ve secretly always wanted to bartend…even if only for friends. So last weekend, when we headed out to the desert with some of our favorite people, I brought along a bunch of fresh-made simple syrups to play with. I’ve been wanting to do this particular post for a very long time. Simple syrups are the easiest and tastiest way to add a little wow factor to an otherwise okay drink. And you can pretty much use any fresh produce, sweet or savory, with excellent results. I’m particularly drawn to herbal simple syrups because I find them so odd, yet completely delicious. My favorite drink of all time is a gin & tonic (extra lime), and while I’m perfectly happy sipping on one (or three) as is, something truly magical happens when you add rosemary syrup. It enhances the already existing herbal notes of the gin and that makes your cocktail extra happy. Cilantro gives a spicy margarita extra kick and kumquats play really well with ginger and Leblon. What I like most about simple syrups is that they last long (about 2 months in the fridge), so you get to keep these natural flavors long after the fresh versions of themselves would have spoiled.

Making a flavored simple syrup is an easy 1:1:1 ratio – 1 cup sugar + 1 cup water + 1 cup fresh ingredient.

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO: Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, then simmer until all sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Now you have a basic simple syrup. But let’s add some flavor! For herbs: wash and leave whole, drop into the simmering sugar mixture. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let cool to room temp to further infuse. Strain into a sealable container and refrigerate until ready to use. For fruit and vegetables: Wash and remove leaves and stems, and roughly chop. Let cook in the simmering sugar mixture for 10 minutes, remove from heat and let cool to room temp to further infuse. Strain through a sieve into a sealable container and refrigerate until ready to use. NOTE: If infusing jalapenos or other hot peppers, remove the seeds to lessen the heat…or if you’re badass, leave them in!

That is all! Now you have simple syrup! Off you go to make something yummy!

If you want some ideas, below are a few of my favorite simple syrups in illustrative action. Pin them to save for later! Enjoy!

p.s. I’ve both given and received simple syrup as a gift. It’s a good one!

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{Illustrations and hand lettering by Paola Parsons (that’s ME!)}

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2013 4:23 am

    Love your illustrations and especially the little labels on the bottles in the photograph. Did you make them? Just gorgeous! And, what a good plan for the weekend. Enjoy!

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      April 19, 2013 2:08 pm

      Thank you! Yes, I made the tags. Have a fun weekend as well!

  2. April 19, 2013 6:55 am

    The blood orange spritzer sounds lovely! Thanks for the ideas!

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      April 19, 2013 2:10 pm

      You’re welcome! It’s delicious! I love anything with Lillet!

  3. April 19, 2013 7:02 am

    Reblogged this on Things to Adore and commented:
    These sound fabulous! And this lady is pretty fabulous, herself.

  4. April 19, 2013 9:08 am

    What a great post! Makes me want to host a party! The simple syrup presentation is so cool. I love those bottles. :)

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      April 19, 2013 2:19 pm

      Thank you so much. I have a think for glass bottles :)

  5. April 19, 2013 12:30 pm

    First of all, I’m jealous of your weather! Second of all, these all sound fantastic! Summer dreaming….

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      April 19, 2013 2:25 pm

      Can’t beat SoCal springs! 75 degrees and breezy. I hope warm weather reaches you soon!!! xo

  6. VVernhard permalink
    April 19, 2013 12:55 pm

    Reblogged this on KP28 * Soul Food.

  7. April 19, 2013 1:58 pm

    Beautiful illustrations!

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      April 19, 2013 2:26 pm

      Thank you so much!

  8. April 20, 2013 1:37 am

    creative on a number of levels–wish I was joining your poolside

  9. April 24, 2013 6:53 am

    those illustrations are mind blowing. Love them!

  10. April 25, 2013 7:31 pm

    the illustrations and tags are so fun and whimsical- it makes me want a drink!!

  11. April 28, 2013 2:47 pm

    Love your post! Great illustrations!! They are fun and whimsy..

  12. May 19, 2013 11:40 am

    the tyme lemonade sounds delicious!!

  13. July 9, 2013 12:28 am

    What a great post! Makes me want to host a party! The simple syrup presentation is so cool. I love those bottles. :)

Trackbacks

  1. The Blinker Cocktail( 2 versions) | mdh
  2. From the bar: Watermelon Gin Punch | {love+cupcakes} Blog
  3. Watermelon Gin Punch | Twisted Sunshine

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