Extend The Life Of Your Simple Syrup Using A Splash Of Booze

Numerous classic and original cocktails call for sweetening, but the taste of a refined drink must never suggest any hint of gritty granulated sugar. The traditional sweetening method that solves this dilemma is to create a simple syrup for your cocktails. Like any design that involves natural ingredients, though, syrups will spoil over time, and simple syrup will stay potable only for about a month in your refrigerator before bacteria begin to form. In reverse course, a fascinating alternative approach to extend the life of your simple syrup is to add a splash of booze.

Introducing your choice of liquors to a simple syrup has a lot of advantages. You can use less syrup in a drink to achieve the same amount of sweetening. Depending on the liquor you choose, you're instilling your own taste flourishes into your bar creations. Most importantly, simple syrup with a splash of booze lasts longer before spoiling in your refrigerator. Variations of the traditional simple syrup recipe are called rich simple syrup. You'll blend your rich simple syrup with other mixers by shaking or stirring them into your cocktails.

Creating your own simple syrup using a splash of booze

To create your rich simple syrup, you'll adapt the recipe for traditional simple syrup, which calls for equal parts sugar and water. One boozy version adds vodka, a neutral spirit, which will increase your syrup's alcohol by volume up to 15%. To make vodka-based rich simple syrup, boil 1½ cups of water in a large pot. Reduce to moderate heat, and add 4 cups of sugar. Stir until completely dissolved. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes until the mixture has a satiny and smooth syrup consistency. Add one-half cup of vodka, mix well, and cool. Transfer the syrup to a jar; once cooled, it should last at least a few months.

Want to create your own unique rich simple syrup? Start by considering a neutral taste palate. Perhaps your rich simple syrup will achieve complexity by adding tequila or gin. Maybe you're looking for a more tropical variation? If so, sample a small batch recipe of 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 2 tablespoons of light rum. Or your simple syrup with a splash of booze might blossom with sweetening from orange curaçao or a honey liqueur. Rich simple syrup variations are nearly infinite, as the sugar-and-water creation can be reimagined with different liquors, fruits, herbs, and spices to underpin infused syrups.