Recipe: Simple Syrup

Finally, something that lives up to its name.

There are two ways to make simple syrup:

  1. The easy way. Dump equal parts sugar and water into a pot (recommendation: 1 cup/1 cup). Bring the ingredients to a boil, then remove from heat. Cool. Pour into a bottle, seal, and refrigerate between uses (it’ll keep for a couple of months).
  2. The really easy way. Pour equal parts sugar and water into a bottle or jar. Close it up and shake it like hell for two to three minutes. When the sugar’s dissolved, you’re done. Refrigerate between uses.

Making it slightly more complicated:

  • If you want to extend the shelf life, add a dash of vodka. 
  • Some bartenders prefer “rich” simple syrup, which means a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water. If you like sweeter cocktails, go for it. I’d recommend boiling over shaking, unless you really want to give your arm a workout.

You can also buy simple syrup at the store. But why would you do that? 

Drink Tech: Shaken or stirred?

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James Bond liked his martinis… cloudy.

Ever since I first witnessed James Bond order a martini, I assumed that shaking was the way all discriminating gentlemen preferred their cocktails prepared.

As it turns out, 007 might have been wrong.

The only drinks that need to be shaken are those that include something other than spirits — cream, juice, syrup, etc. Thicker ingredients require more energy to properly mix.

If your cocktail only includes spirits — say, vodka and vermouth — shaking will only make the drink cloudy. In that case, stirring’s your best bet.