Thursday, January 31, 2013

How to Make Simple Syrup

So, last week I was in a bar (and you don't know how long I've waited to start a sustainable living post that way...), and I asked the bartender for a mojito.  The establishment is new, and they are still stocking up, and the bartender allowed as how she had no simple syrup and would have to "get some."

Friends, one does not buy simple syrup.  You know why?  Because this listing from Amazon shows you why:

Amazon's first listing for "simple syrup"

Take a gander.  You will pay $31.13 plus shipping for four bottles of simple syrup, each just over a quart.

If I ever catch any of you spending $32 to buy a gallon of simple syrup, I am coming to your house and not leaving until you are rebatching your soap, making your own laundry detergent, and starting a compost pile.

For those of you planning to make cocktails for your Super Bowl party, you need to know this:  Simple syrup is simple.  It is equal parts sugar and water.  Just take your granulated cane sugar (I usually use a cup) and put it in a small sauce pan with an equal amount (a cup) of water.  Heat on low until the sugar dissolves, and then pop it in the fridge.  Bingo.  You have enough simple syrup to get you through a few cocktails or a pitcher of mojitos, for pennies.

I mean, I get it:  sometimes you buy stuff to stock your bar.  If you never make your own aromatic bitters (which you totally can, but since you use two drops of the stuff at at time, a store-bought bottle should last a decade anyway), you will still have your sustainability merit badge from me.  But you use simple syrup by the shot and jigger-full, and there is no reason to waste money on something you can make while you are slicing your limes.

The Analysis

Fast:  Literally, simple syrup takes 2 minutes to make.

Cheap:  Pennies, I tell you.  What does a bag of sugar even cost these days?  A couple of bucks for 4 pounds of cane sugar, and that would make a few gallons of simple syrup.  Never pay $32 a gallon!!

Good:  Saving your money for the expensive rum is always a better deal when stocking the bar.

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