Make Simple Syrups Sing with Tea!
Simple syrups are a staple in confectionery and bartending, and their name is no lie—they're easy to make, customizable, and perfect for adding a hint of flavor and sweetness to beverages, sauces, and glazes. Their most popular use is for blending into beverages, and we can see why. Not only can you personalize the drinks you make, you don't have to worry about trying to stir sugar into cold beverages. This way, the sweetness is more evenly dispersed and doesn't settle at the bottom of your drink. Making your own syrups at home also allows you to control how much sugar you're consuming in your drinks—perfect for those of us trying to avoid oversweetened store-bought drinks and high-fructose corn syrup.
Of course, simple syrups are no big secret; many home cooks and bakers make and use them on a regular basis. At its most basic, a simple syrup is just a 1:1 ratio of granulated sugar dissolved in water. However, there's a great way to make simple syrups shine: Just add tea!
While the most traditional method of making simple syrup is to heat the sugar and water in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, you can also infuse your tea, herbs, and/or spices directly into the water, allowing the tea flavor to shine through the syrup. You can use your favorite infusion system, or make it a one-pot process by using a Capsule Infuser or Folding-Handle Infuser to steep the tea into the water following our steeping guidelines. When it's done, simply remove the infuser, add an equal amount of sugar, and stir until over medium-high heat until the sugar has completely dissolved (do not let it come to a boil). When your syrup is cool, pour it into an airtight container and store for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
If you're looking for inspiration for blended drinks, here are some tips to get you started. Teas with citrusy or herbaceous profiles, like our Earl Grey and Tropic of Jasmine, blend well into gin-based cocktails. Our Kama Sutra Chai and Vanilla Cream black teas add rich complexity to bourbon and whiskey. You don't have to stick to alcoholic drinks, though—I love mixing peppermint syrup into iced tea and hibiscus or Black and Blue Monk syrup into homemade lemonade! For those of you who want to experiment even more with simple syrups in the kitchen, stay tuned: Our next blog on the topic will talk about using syrups in bases for everything from homemade pies to meat glazes.