Simple Syrup-or is it?

Simple syrup is just about the extent of my experience with making homemade cocktail ingredients. I completely agree with many cocktail bloggers out there who believe that the addition of homemade ingredients like fresh sour mix, grenadine, orgeat, and tonic water make a quality cocktail truly superior. I’m fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to sample the spectacular results of others’ hard work at home. For me, however, making cocktail ingredients at home is an issue because:

1. I’m busy.
2. If I’m not busy, I’m lazy.

The one ingredient that’s been “simple” enough for me to whip up at home myself is Simple Syrup. I mean, why would you ever buy a bottle of premade Simple Syrup? That’s about as crazy as buying bottled water…oh wait.

Anyway, embarrassingly enough, it has come to my attention that I might have managed to screw up Simple Syrup. My mother would be proud. How can this be? Well, I’ve always done a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water for my Simple Syrup, but there are a lot of people out there telling me I’m doing it wrong. I figured I’d bring this matter on to the blog and ask everyone’s opinion—what is the right way to make Simple Syrup?

Bobby Flay has said 1:1, and then Natalie, the Liquid Muse, called him out on it. Paul Clarke provides a 2:1 recipe on Cocktail Chronicles, but Stevi Deter of Two at the Most uses a 1:1 simple syrup in her Pisco Sours. Jeffrey Morgenthaler is on the 1:1 side, while Darcy O’Neil of Art of Drink is all about 2:1 simple syrup in his homemade Sour Mix. Stop the madness! Who’s doing it right and who’s doing it wrong? Or could it be it’s just a matter of taste? Please, share your thoughts in the comments!


DrinkPlanner said...

Count me in the 1:1 camp. That's plenty sweet for me, 2:1 seems like it would be overkill for most drinks. I guess it would depend on the cocktail though.

Nathan said...

I do 1:1 as well, as it's easy to pour/measure and easy to mix: microwave 1c water until barely boiling, then stir in 1c sugar. No stove needed. If you need to make some up in a hurry, you can also shake equal parts room-temperature water and sugar in a bottle and then use it without waiting for it to cool. The 1:1 ratio seems to be about right for most cocktails.