Sparkling Berry Mint LemonadeFriends, it’s called simple syrup for a reason. There are two ingredients in it, plus your imagination. You can make it with equal parts sugar and water or with 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. The one with more sugar will be more syrupy and sweeter. Generally, use 1:1 simple syrup for brushing cake layers. But use whichever one you think will go better with what you’re making. 1 part sugar (or 2 parts) 1 part water Bring to a boil. Cool. The end. Or is it? You can steep almost anything into your simple syrup: vanilla, cinnamon, mint, lemon verbena, star anise, ginger, chiles–you name it. Make the kind that compliments your dish. Making a cider sorbet? Use cinnamon or ginger simple syrup. Want to sweeten your homemade margarita? How about a lime simple syrup? Mango salsa? (I’ll have the roast duck with the mango salsa) Try using some habanero or jalapeno simple syrup. Use mint simple syrup to sweeten homemade iced tea or lemonade. No more annoying sugar crystals in the bottom of your glass!
Sparkling Berry Mint Lemonade
Serving Suggestion: lemon/mint simple syrup with muddled berries, mint and club soda. Click photo for the “recipe.”

Besides brushing cake layers with it, here are some other things you can do with simple syrup:

  • Use as a base for making sorbet
  • Mix a strongly flavored simple syrup with club soda for homemade soda
  • Poach fruit in it
  • Add lemon and lime juice and make homemade sour mix
  • Use it to make mixed drinks

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