In my Twice as Tasty blog post and column for the Flathead Beacon last week, I shared Strawberry Shortcake with Lilac Cream, one of my favorite treats for early-summer celebrations (like Twice as Tasty’s 6th birthday!). But I must admit that I tend to drink my desserts rather than eat them. So I would include this week’s recipe on the celebration menu too. It’s sweet enough to count as dessert in my book but simple enough to mix up for a spontaneous party—especially if you have a bottle of mint simple syrup stashed in your fridge.
As I note in this week’s Twice as Tasty column, you don’t really need a recipe to make simple syrup. But if you’re a by-the-book kind of person, I break down the steps here, along with tips and tricks for keeping it light and fresh.
Learn more about simple syrups and get the complete recipe for Mega-Mint Mojito in my column.
Twice as Tasty
Once you start making simply syrups, you’ll find them useful in a range of cocktails and mocktails. Besides mojitos, I use mint simple syrup in a strawberry smash, replacing the rum with gin, the lime juice with lemon, and muddling in 3 sliced strawberries. I often mix up a honey simple syrup for Twice as Tasty cocktail workshops so that participants can quickly sweeten their creations. Sugar blends best with water if you heat it, but honey just needs a vigorous shake in a sealed jar to dissolve in warm water. Here are some other delicious simple syrup flavors:
- Agave–lime: I typically mix agave and lime straight into the cocktail when making Grilled Tomatillo Margaritas, but you can shortcut the step by keeping it on hand as a simple syrup. It’s also delicious in a pineapple margarita.
- Basil: Swap basil for mint in simple syrup and use it in a gin smash, muddling or spanking a few fresh basil leaves for extra color.
- Cucumber: Shredded cucumber, peel and all, can flavor a simple syrup for light summer cocktails and mocktails. Add some cilantro and lime for a cucumber martini, or use half cucumber and half mint simple syrup for a cucumber mojito.
- Honey–ginger: I use honey–ginger simple syrup in a gin-based bee’s knees, sometimes adding rhubarb to the syrup for an extra kick.
From simple syrups, it’s just a short step to fruit syrups that can be poured over sourdough pancakes, mixed into granola, or drizzled on sorbet. These are some of my favorites to make fresh, freeze, or can. You can also find my master recipes for a range of flavors in the recipe index.
Simple syrups are also a stepping stone to other cocktail mixers. You can learn more about making alcohol infusions like triple sec in this blog post.
Want more Twice as Tasty recipes? Get my books! Click here to order a personally signed, packaged, and shipped copy of The Complete Guide to Pickling directly from me. It includes recipes for shrubs that make excellent cocktail mixers. I also share tasty ways to use pickle brines in cocktails in The Pickled Picnic, a digital collection in an easy-to-read PDF format; it’s only available here.