Recipe: an easier way to make simple syrup

dry sugar

I’m going to bet that when you read the next sentence, you will slap your head. Sugar does not need heat to dissolve in water. 

Easy simple syrup

Makes approx 1.5 cups (12 oz)

  • 220 g water (about 1 fl cup)
  • 220 g granulated sugar (or about 1 cup, 1 oz, using a liquid measuring cup)

To make easy simple syrup, add 1 part sugar to 1 part nice-tasting water and sit patiently. Do the measurements by weight if possible, as the densities of different brands and types of sugar can vary.

Why this technique is better

1. It’s fast. While heating simple syrup will cause the sugar to dissolve more quickly, you then have to deal with waiting for the syrup to cool. Using the room temperature method requires much less work for the same gain.

2. Simple syrup made without heat may be slightly more viscous than syrup made with heat. Table sugar (sucrose) is a disacharride composed of two monosacharrides, glucose and fructose. Sucrose rapidly breaks down into glucose and fructose when heated. The simpler carbohydrates should be less viscous in solution, but I haven’t independently verified this assumption. If you have experience with the topic, please comment!

Photo proof

just add water

In the above picture, a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water is shown on the left and 1:1 is on the right. The photo was taken just after adding water – note how cloudy both samples are.

the sugar melts away

This picture shows the finished syrups. The 2:1 version took about 45 minutes to fully combine. I shook it lightly every 15 minutes or so. The 1:1 syrup took about 15 minutes to get clear. I’ve done the 1:1 syrup with zero shaking before and I know that it will get clear on its own through diffusion.

As far as which one’s better, 2:1 or 1:1… more to come.

Substitutions and measurements

The below are the measurements I got at sea level at an ambient temperature of 74F:

density of water: 0.93 g/mL, or 220g/8 oz
density of simple syrup: 33.5 g/oz
volume of 220g sugar + 220g water = 1.64 cups (13.13 oz)

For drinks like the old fashioned or the sazerac: Using the recipe I give above, the proper substitute for a sugar cube is about 1/8 oz of simple syrup, or 3/4 of a teaspoon.

How do you make simple syrup?

3 Comments

  1. Angus November 27, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    Here’s how I do it. No big deal.

    1.Add 2 parts sugar to 1 part freshly boiled water in a Pyrex jug.

    2.Stir with a fork.

    3.Microwave for a few minutes (until it looks mostly clear).

    4. Remove. Stir until completely clear.

    5. Cool Pyrex jug of syrup in sink of cold water. Give it a few minutes at least.

    6. Heat syrup bottle by filling with hot water from tap. (Otherwise it will crack when you fill with hot syrup.)

    7. Decant hot syrup into hot bottle.

    8. Sit on bench to cool (half an hour tops.)

  2. Glamorous Bite Recipes June 28, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    We do equal parts for the ratio in our margaritas! Cheers!

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