Sweetener: What is Simple Syrup and How Do You Make It?

Terri recently e-mailed me to ask “What is Simple Syrup and how do you use it?” My favorite recipe for lemonade immediately came to mind (You’ll find it in Sara Moulton Cooks at Home.) and here is my answer.

Simple syrup is an old-fashioned secret for sweetening things such as lemonade, iced tea, and other beverages or even your breakfast cereal. It may also be brushed over pastries to give them a shine or drizzled over fresh fruit for a quick dessert. It eliminates the bother of stirring beverages or fresh fruit to dissolve added sugar and is the secret ingredient in many of the hot new mixed drinks. You won’t find it in the market but it is so easy to make, you will want to keep some in your fridge all the time. Just combine 1 cup sugar with 1/2 cup cold water in a small saucepan. Cook it over medium-low heat, stirring gently, just until the sugar dissolves. Cool it completely, then you can store it in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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