What is simple syrup? It is boiled equal amounts of sugar and water. It is commonly used for preparing cocktail drinks but it is also very useful in making salad dressings and marinades. The philosophy is to be able to sweeten a mixture without having to worry about undissolved sugar granules.
If olive oil can be infused with herbs and spices to make it more flavorful and aromatic, the same technique can be used to flavor and heighten the aroma of plain simple syrup.
To make simple syrup, just boil together sugar and water. In equal amounts. As soon as the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat. Cool the mixture.
Prepare some jars with screw type caps.
Take two stalks of lemongrass (use the lower portion of the stalks only), cut to fit inside the jar then lightly pound them with the dull side of a knife to bruise. This allows the lemongrass to release its essential oils. Drop the bruised stalks into a jar.
Into the other jar, drop in the zest of two lemons or limes, or the zest or one lemon and one lime.
Fill the jars with the cooled simple syrup. Cover tightly. Store in the fridge.
If you’re not into citrus but you love aromatic simple syrup, other aromatics that you can use unclude:
1. Dried rose buds
2. Cinnamon and star anise
3. Pandan leaves
If you’re not a tea drinker, or if you do drink tea but prefer it unsweetened, there is at least one other way to enjoy flavored simple syrup. Drizzle it over pancakes and waffles. You’ll need a thicker syrup, however.
For a thicker syrup that can be poured over pancakes and waffles, use twice as much sugar and boil the mixture until thickened to the desired consistency. Infuse with aromatics as above.