Micky’s cocktail cabinet: Sugar syrup

SUGsugar syrupAR syrup (also known as ‘simple syrup’ and ‘bar syrup’) is a key ingredient in a lot of cocktails and so it will be a recurring feature of these guides. Although premade sugar syrup can be bought (for around £5-£10 per 70cl), it’s fairly straightforward and inexpensive to make your own. It’ll also keep for at least a month in a fridge, so it’s quite feasible to make a big batch in advance if you plan to use it often.

The easiest method – 1:1 ratio

This method literally takes a few minutes: all you need is an empty bottle, sugar and water.

1. Put an equal amount of sugar and water into the empty bottle – ideally I’d suggest only filling the bottle up to two thirds of its maximum capacity, leaving plenty of room for the ingredients to move around.

2. After this, simply shake it constantly until all of the sugar has dissolved.

With this method, the sugar syrup should last around a month in the fridge and can easily be made whenever you need it without having to worry about cleaning up pots and pans.

‘Rich’ sugar syrup – 2:1 ratio

This method takes a little longer, but it produces richer syrup. For this you’ll need a pan, sugar, water and a bottle to store it in once you’re done.

1. Put one cup of water into the pan and bring it to a gentle boil.

2. Stir in two cups of sugar and keep stirring until it’s fully dissolved. Take the pan off the stove, let it cool down and then bottle it.

Although this method takes a little longer and is a little messier (who wants to clean up a sticky pan after all?), richer syrup has two major advantages:
It keeps for longer in the fridge (around 2-3 months) and you only need to use half as much in your cocktails, so your drinks will be less watered down. For example, in the Mojito recipe I recommend 2 shots of sugar syrup, but with rich syrup you only need to 1 shot. Whilst the ‘watered down’ factor isn’t particularly noticeable in the Mojito, when recipes call for smaller quantities of ingredients, the less water you’re adding, the better.