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right consistency of simple syrup

How can I tell when simply syrup has the right consistency and sweetness for drinks? My bartender friend gave me this recipe: boil 1c. water w/1.5 c. sugar for about 5 minutes, til barely thickened; add 3-4 sprigs of rosemary, let cool, and strain (for champagne cocktail). I did all that (I thought). However, when I put it in fridge, the bottom half crystalized. The liquid on top smells great (like rosemary), but I'm afraid I might have reduced it too long and it might be too sweet. If I experiment the day before guests come, I'll ruin my good sparkling because it will go flat by next day. How can I tell when simple syrup is at the right consistency and sweetness?

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  1. Simple syrup is very thin. Try it 3-1 water and sugar, and emulsify it after it melts.

    2 Replies
    1. re: brendastarlet

      So I gather, that I put the sugar in once the water boils, right. Pardon my ignorance, but how do I emulsify after it melts?

      1. re: neophyte

        There seems to be a little confusion on terms.

        You cannot emulsify a solid into a liquid.....you emulsify two liquids, that ordinarily will not mix together,e.g. , oil and water..... or oil and vinegar.

        What you actually need to do is to dissolve the solid sugar into the liquid water....without boiling any further after the sugar is added to the liquid, on or off the heat.

    2. I have never heard of using a ratio of more sugar to water....so that could be the problem you are experiencing with the crystallization of the cooled syrup. Any bar recipe I have ever used consisted of an even 1:1 ratio.

      http://busycooks.about.com/od/quickti...

      1. there are some ratios of 2:1 out there. I think 1:1 usually works very nicely and I don't really reduce it so much as bring to a boil, add sugar, remove from heat.

        1. I've used from 2:1 down to 1:1 sugar/water and haven't had any problems other than it getting moldy after sitting too long. However, after bringing the water to a boil and adding the sugar I kill the heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. If you continue to reduce than my guess would be it's creating too thick of a syrup.

          1. I was a bartender for years ... 1:1 boil on high and then and reduce for 4-5 minutes on medium. Turn off and simple syrup. Don't make it harder than it is. Nothing else