You Should Be Infusing Your Cocktail's Simple Syrup More Often

Whether you enjoy mixing your own cocktails or baking, homemade infused simple syrup is an easy way to add a special touch to your drinks. Once you get the knack, you just may wonder why you don't do this more often. Whether you enjoy a fruity drink or something a little more simple, infused syrups can be one of the easiest ways to take a standard drink and make it your signature cocktail. 

You can buy simple syrup, but it is so easy to make your own. Simply add a 1-to-1 ratio of water and sugar to a pan and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer until all the sugar has dissolved. Making homemade simple syrup is cost-effective and ensures you'll always have some on hand, but the main upside to making your own is that you can create your own infusions to add a personal touch to your mocktails or cocktails.

Simple syrup is very versatile, and can easily be customized. By making and infusing your own simple syrup you have room to experiment. You can play with different types of sugar for different flavors and colors or try out different water-to-sugar ratios to vary the concentration and texture, as well. But the most exciting experiments come from infusing your simple syrup with additional flavors. By simply tossing in a few mix-in ingredients — whether that's herbs, spices, fruits, or florals – you can infuse your simple syrup with your favorite flavors and scents, and infuse your cocktails with your own flavor combinations and creativity. 

Flavors to try out in your simple syrup

An infused syrup easily levels up even the simplest cocktails, adding a hint of flavor that can complement the natural taste of your alcohol. To make infused syrup, you'll make a standard simple syrup as you normally would; once your sugar has dissolved, turn off the heat, toss your additional ingredients into the pot, and let them simmer in the cooling syrup for about 30 minutes. With that in mind, here are a few ideas for flavors to infuse into your simple syrup.

With so many fruity cocktails out there, fruit is an obvious choice. Consider fruits that are similar to (or can pleasantly contrast with) some of the flavors in your favorite drinks. Edible flowers like lavender and roses can also enhance the taste and scent of just about any drink. Enjoy a summery fruit combo by adding strawberry-infused syrup to a standard lemon drop, or use orange zest-infused syrup to transform a mint mojito with a subtle hit of citrus.

Herbs and aromatic spices are an obvious choice and can add a hint of freshness or subtle earthiness to your cocktails. You don't have to wait until autumn for a pumpkin pie latte; make an infused syrup to sweeten your cocktails. Infuse a blend of warm fall spices like ​​nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, and cardamom into your simple syrup and use it instead of the honey in a Hot Toddy or other warming drink.

Of course, there's no reason to stick to just one category. Combine fruits, herbs, edible flowers, or spices to create the experience you're after. With a little trial and error, you might even create your own signature infused syrups.

Other ways to use your infused syrup

The most obvious way to use a batch of infused simple syrup is in a variety of cocktails, but those aren't your only options. So many recipes could be enhanced with the subtle flavor you can add through infused syrups. 

If you prefer alcohol-free beverages, you can add infused syrup to carbonated water to make your own soft drink tailored to your preferences. Add fruit-infused syrup to sparkling or still water to branch out from standard lemonade into other fruit-ade drinks. Lattes, coffee drinks, and tea may be sweetened with syrup, and just about any mocktail also benefits from infused syrup to elevate and add some interesting flavors to your nonalcoholic drinks.

Even your homemade desserts may benefit from infused syrup. Drizzle a little on top of cakes, use it in confectionery, or even use it as a pancake syrup. During the summer, use it to make an easy, refreshing dessert like shaved ice, ice pops, or sorbet. If you want to top your dessert off in style, use simple syrup to sweeten and flavor whipped cream. Your syrup will keep well in the fridge for up to a month, giving you plenty of time to experiment with different ways to use it.