How The Sous Vide Method Can Take Homemade Syrups To The Next Level

Your sous vide immersion circulator can cook practically anything — from poultry to vegetables to seafood — guaranteeing perfect results every time thanks to precise temperature settings. But the sous vide machine can handle more than just steaks. It might seem like an unusual appliance to use for making flavored syrups since you can just simmer your ingredients together quickly on the stovetop, but using this method has a range of advantages. It's true, the syrups wiull take several hours to prepare rather than several minutes. The payoff is a better flavor transfer, especially for delicate flavors like herbs and floral ingredients, easier clean-up, and less risk of caramelizing or burning the syrup.

By holding your sous vide circulator at a constant low temperature in a closed container — around 165 degrees F for most flavor ingredients — you can slowly infuse a sugar and water mixture without losing much of the aroma to the surrounding air, as happens when you simmer the mixture on a burner. The precise temperature means the sugar won't burn. And, you can also make the syrup right in the jar you'll store it in, meaning there's less to clean up.

How to put this sous vide hack to use

If you're making coffee drinks at home, why rely on bottled syrups when you can so easily make your own custom flavors? The basic formula for a cup of simple syrup is one cup each of water and sugar. For more flavorful syrup, consider using demerara or raw sugar. You'll get a deeper edge from the molasses in those sugars that adds interest to darker flavors like vanilla or spiced syrups. Put the water and sugar in a jar with a tight fitting lid, add the flavoring ingredients you'd like, seal the jar and let it sit in the water bath for five hours. When the jar cools, simply store it in the fridge.

For vanilla syrup, use half of a vanilla bean, being sure to scrape the seed inside into the jar for the strongest flavor. You can make your own pumpkin spice syrup with a cinnamon stick, a clove, and a few dashes of nutmeg. Strain the spices out after the infusion time to make pouring the syrup easier. Don't forget to try savory flavors that would be amazing in cocktails, like a few slices of jalapeño, a spring of basil, or a handful of citrus peel. Replace the agave with one of these syrups to make your frozen margaritas an unforgettable treat.