Simplicity of Simple Syrup

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Simple syrup lives up to its name. Really. It’s simple to make, simple to use, simply delicious (chime in if you can think of more “simple” puns).

A simple recipe:
To create simple syrup, in a saucepan heat 1 cup sugar + 1 cup water over low heat. Cook 3 minutes or until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a glass or ceramic container (do not use plastic), cover and refrigerate up to 7 days. Use in any recipe requiring a liquid sweetener such as cocktails, lemonade, coffee, tea, sauces, marinades or desserts.

A fancy simple syrup:
Infusing simple syrup with fruits, herbs and spices is just as simple as simple syrup itself.        As the water and sugar are dissolving over low heat, add your choice of orange, lemon or lime peel (without the bitter pith), sliced fennel bulb, fresh gingerroot, mint, basil, thyme, rosemary, peppercorns, toasted fennel or caraway seeds – you get the picture. How much should you add? It’s a matter of taste. For 1 cup of sugar/water, we recommend any of the following – feel free to mix and match to create endless flavor profiles:

Peel of 2 lemons (no white pith)
Peel of 3 limes
Peel of 2 oranges
Peel of 1 grapefruit
1/2 cup peeled, sliced fresh gingerroot
1 cup fresh sliced fennel bulb
1 cup fresh chopped basil, mint, cilantro or other herbaceous aromatics
2 tablespoons rosemary, thyme or other woody herbs
2 tablespoons toasted fennel seed, caraway seed or similar
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns (use less for less heat)
1 chili pepper, sliced in half

Allow the aromatics to steep in the syrup until the syrup cools to room temperature.                Strain syrup, discard the aromatics. Transfer to a glass or ceramic container (do not use plastic), cover and refrigerate up to 7 days.

Our favorite {wicked good} way to use simple syrup is in homemade soda pop by mixing the syrup, fruit juice or pureed fruit and sparkling water.

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Ginger-Grapefruit Soda Pop

Servings: makes 10 (8-oz.) servings
Allergy info: soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free

For the ginger simple syrup:
1 cup organic sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup peeled, sliced fresh gingerroot
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

For the soda:
2 1/2 cups fresh grapefruit juice (about 3 medium grapefruit)
5 cups sparkling water, ice cold
1/2 cup organic sugar
Ice cubes

Make the ginger simple syrup:
In a small saucepan heat sugar, salt, water, gingerroot, peppercorns and vanilla extract over low heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand until room temperature, about 30 minutes. Strain syrup, discard aromatics.

Make the soda:
In a large pitcher stir together the ginger simple syrup and grapefruit juice, set aside. In a large dish spread organic sugar in a single layer. Moisten rim of each glass with water. Dip rim of each glass in sugar, set glasses aside, discard sugar. Fill each glass with large ice cubes.         Pour 4 oz. of grapefruit mixture into each glass; top with 4 oz. of sparkling water. Gently stir to mix, serve cold.

Post by Dawn Viola : www.DawnViola.com