Simple syrups are just that, simple. It is also an oft overlooked form of an infusion. I could revisit the definition of infusion and go all brain bowl chemistry nerd on you, but the short story is we take the flavor(s) of one component and add them to a liquid [component] thus creating a “new” liquid with a new flavor component added to it.
That being said, I realized as a site dedicated to the exploration, experimentation, and consumption of infusions, it would be neglectful to let simple syrups fall to the waist side, as they in their own right can bring the same types of flavors, complexities, and oddities to a cocktail that an infused spirit can. They also provide a much shorter production life span. They can be perfect for when there simply isn’t enough time to make that pineapple tequila for the party or when there is a need/want to create a last-minute tweak to a drink. They also prove integral parts of some very popular cocktail recipes. So today begins a monthly series on simple syrups called “So Simple.” Now, to business…
This current Infusion of the Month is a Loose Leaf Tea Infusion; and what goes better with tea than a little lemon?
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
Lemon zest of one lemon
– bring lemon juice and sugar to a boil, stirring frequently
– reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes (or until slightly thickened)
– remove from heat and add lemon zest
– let mixture cool for about 10 minutes
– strain out lemon zest
– store in clean, dry container
* if refrigerated, syrup can last up to six months*
This will give you a slightly thicker version of lemon simple syrup. The reason I choose this is not only does it stand up better to hot drinks, i.e. tea, but it last longer before it become unsafe to use. If you prefer a runnier consistency, you can simple dilute the syrup in a one to one ration with some water. This will yield more familiar simple syrup consistency for those who are used to a 1:1 simple syrup ratio.