Infuse Simple Syrup For A Next-Level Whiskey Sour

Whether you're sweetening a cocktail or upgrading your morning latte, simple syrup is up for the job. In its simplest form, the sweetener consists of water with dissolved sugar — though you don't have to stop with just those two ingredients. Rather, you can upgrade a simple syrup by infusing it with all kinds of additional flavors and herbs. Such an effort proves especially fruitful in whiskey sours; the classic cocktail presents a fairly blank canvas for additional flavors to shine.

An infused simple syrup can embrace a variety of interesting flavor additions, and is versatile to use. It's therefore an easy medium to experiment with different flavors in different whiskey sour iterations. For example, you can pair your sour with a rosemary-infused syrup, which will complement the drink's lemon flavors with notes of fresh herbs. Or, if you prefer fruity cocktails, you can make a blackberry simple syrup. Likewise, fresh ginger can work wonders in a whiskey sour; ginger complements the bright acidity of lemon, making for a well-rounded — and delicious — cocktail. You can also try incorporating lemongrass to up your sour's lemon flavor, as well as other herbs like mint or basil.

Regardless of your choice, your whiskey sour will surely reap the benefits. Luckily for home mixologists, infusing a simple syrup is, indeed, simple.

Patience is key to infusing a simple syrup

Making an infused simple syrup starts with the simplest of steps. To make the syrup, first boil water with sugar on the stovetop. The exact amounts depend on how much syrup you want, but equal parts of water and sugar tend to be ideal. 

Once the sugar has dissolved, you can add your chosen ingredient. Infusing — which is not quite the same as steeping — combines a new flavor with a simple syrup. You can combine the ingredient — like an herb — with your syrup over heat. This tends to be the best option for infusing a syrup with fresh herbs. However, you can alternatively mix your chosen ingredient into your liquid after it's already been heated. In either scenario, you'll want to allot extra time so the flavor can meld with the syrup. This process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours.

Once your syrup is ready, strain it. Then, you can add your sweetener to your frothy whiskey sour. You'll be able to taste the difference, and you can garnish the drink to reflect the flavor of the infused syrup.