It has been a crazy week, and we ready to enjoy a cocktail with you. First, it is time to get back to talking about Bar Basics. Two weeks ago we shared our homemade Sour Mix, and this week we are going to talk about simple syrup. This is a bar basic that is a must, as most cocktail recipes include a little sweetener, which is normally some simple syrup. We like to take it a step further by using a “rich simple syrup”.
Rich simple syrup adds a subtle sweetness and texture to your cocktail. It is made by using a 2:1 ratio (sugar: water). We prefer to use an unrefined sugar, which also adds a nice amber color to the finished syrup. As well we have found that using the ratio of 2:1, made the syrup last longer. We do add a teaspoon of vodka to aid in some “natural preserving”. Vodka is perfect to use as it has a clean taste, and will not interfere with the taste of your cocktails. Just don’t add to your breakfast tea or you really will be tea tottling. If you opt not to use the vodka as a preservative, your syrup will last about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Using the vodka made the syrup last about 2 months; well, that is how long it lasted in our fridge.
About a month ago, a bottle of Hendricks Gin, along with a cocktail book dedicated to gin only cocktails, showed up on our doorstep. Breaking it open seemed appropriate as most cocktails involving gin also involve a little simple syrup. Keep in mind, a cocktail has three basic components: sweet, acidic, and alcohol. Sweet being the simple syrup. This lovely spring cocktail is made with Hendricks, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and lemon bitters. We loved how the juniper overtones from the gin played with the tangy lemon. Very refreshing. Very addictive. Hello Spring!
Homemade Rich Simple Syrup
2 cups unrefined sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vodka
In a saucepan add the sugar and water.
Stirring over low heat until the sugar dissolves; about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Add vodka, and stir.
Bottle and put into the refrigerator until ready to use.
St. Clements Cocktail
1 3/4 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 ounces rich simple syrup
Fever Tree Bitter Lemon
In a shaker add a handful of ice, the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
Strain into a glass.
Top with the bitter lemon.
Garnish with a lemon slice.