I wanted to take a moment, in this crazy heat wave, to share a "behind the bar" secret that I learned while working in bars and restaurants - Simple Syrup. It is a staple for mojitos, daiquiris and hurricanes as well as iced tea and lemon-aid, best part... simple to make!
I started making this at home for my husband after "fighting" over his preference for sweet tea, the need for two pitchers of tea in the fridge and the amount of sugar that ends up on the counter instead of the glass if two pitches are not in the fridge for him. Then it dawned on me... simple syrup! Actually, I said that I would be happy to stir his tea with my finger to sweeten it but... he did not find it as funny as I did at that moment. So, now, along side the pitcher of tea is a smaller bottle of "sugar water" for him to sweeten his tea.
I make simple syrup in a 1:1 ratio, two cups of sugar to two cups of water but this can be adjusted according to preference. If you would like a thinner, less sweet syrup then 1:3 ratio (one cup sugar to three cups of water) can be used and if you want a medium syrup, then 1:2 ratio is what you should make.
Personally, I prefer 1:1 because I think it is the perfect thickness and sweetness to add to tea or lemonade since you will technically be diluting it with tea or lemonade. You can also add flavor to it, such as vanilla extract or lemon to give it a fun twist without sacrificing thickness or sweetness.
First, bring cold water to a boil in a saucepan big enough to hold at least three cups of the finished syrup (sugar expands, learned that the hard way). * Once water is boiling, add two cups of sugar (plain, old fashioned sugar) and stir continuously until sugar dissolves. * Once the sugar dissolves, remove from heat and let it cool completely before bottling. * Once bottled, refrigerate and enjoy, in moderation of course...