I made some fresh lemonade a few weekends ago and hubby and I just loved it! I simply squeezed lemon slices into water, dropped in a few of the slices (using an entire large lemon) and added some sugar and stirred.
Someone asked me how I made it and in sharing with her, I remembered that sometimes in the summer I make and use Simple Syrup.
Love summer drinks! To make Simple Syrup, simply boil equal parts water to sugar until dissolved. That's it! It can be put into fresh squeezed juice drinks or tea. I put it in a gravy boat and stuck it in the refrigerator. It is great for single servings. I did buy a new mix and serve plastic container over the weekend though so I would have a lid to seal it.
But then you can play with it and really have fun. Last weekend I made it with with lime juice and vanilla. Then I squeezed a orange slices into a glass, put another slice in the glass for visual effect, topped with ice, then water, and a dab of Simple Syrup.
A fun straw and glass are required for full effect. I am ready to stock up on ingredients for a different flavor syrup and juice every day!
I did stock up on ingredients over the weekend. I plan on putting some blackberries in a batch and some strawberries in another batch. I needed some more vanilla, so I also bought some other flavors such as mint and orange and almond (in the spices isle!). I also bought some fresh rosemary. I want to infuse it in the Simple Syrup while boiling, then remove it, but add a clean twig of rosemary to my glass.
The ideas are endless with varieties of fruit and spices. I am working on a list of combinations to try throughout the summer. I might share when I get it done.
It seems to me when I use Simple Syrup in my cup of tea that I use a lot less sugar than when I use sugar cubes. I am not sure why that is, but I assume that is a good thing. I made a cup sugar/cup water ratio the first time, but it is lasting us so long that the next batches are only going to be a half cup so I can try new flavors more often!
On my patio table I planted a flower and mint into the container. I am loving this idea! I have some grapefruit mint out in the flower garden, but I like the idea of this mint being so handy.
I can grab a leaf and drop it in my glass at any time. Granted, it will not have time to infuse and is more for visual effect, but I am learning that food often is more about the visual effect for me.
It's not about quantity, but about taking time to enjoy the simple things.
Do you ever use Simple Syrup? Grenadine is a type of Simple Syrup and in the store the flavored Simple Syrups are rather expenses. I feel as if many people do not realize that they can make it so simply and easily and inexpensively at home. Simple Syrup is generally used in alcoholic cocktail drinks. Folks do not think about it being used with fruit juice water and tea.
Think about making sweet tea. It is important to put the sugar in while the tea is warm. Why? It is because of the way the sugar dissolves in warm water vs. cold water. It just tastes better. Then after the sugar is dissolved, add ice to make it into sweet iced tea. So, instead of dissolving it in warm tea, dissolve it ahead of time in boiling water and then add to the individual glasses. Makes sense, right? And in doing it this way, you can enable infusing other flavors while making the Simple Syrup. Ever have flavored teas and wonder how to do it? Well, this is it!
Of course, you can add the Simple Syrup to an entire pitcher also.
Oh, and my friend who asked for the recipe tried fresh lemons and Simple Syrup and her husband declared it was the only way to make lemonade from now on! I'm so glad he agreed!
The List! Infused Water & Simple Syrup Combinations
Apple Strawberry Lemon Mint
Blueberry Lemon Cucumber
Blueberry Lemon Mint
Cantaloupe Honey Mint
Cucumber Lemon Mint
Cucumber Melon Mint
Cucumber Raspberry Grape
Grapefruit Lemon Orange Lime
Honeydew Melon Mint
Lemon Cucumber Rosemary Thyme Mint
Lime Vanilla extract
Orange (Blood) Mango
Orange Lemon Ginger
Orange, Orange Zest, Vanilla extract
Orange Vanilla Bean
Pear Cinnamon Vanilla Bean
Pear Rasperry Rosemary
Strawberry Lemon Basil
Strawberry Lemon Ginger
Strawberry Lime Cucumber
Strawberry Pink Grapefruit
Watermelon Lime Basil