Because they feature in a variety of cocktail recipes, simple syrups are a staple in any well-stocked bar. Available unflavoured or in a variety of flavours, they make for quicker mixing where a recipe calls for sugar and allow you to add unique flavours and colours to your cocktails – think tea, spices, fruits etc. They’re a great ingredient to have on hand, however, can sometimes be costly to purchase – especially flavoured ones. So, why not make your own?
Simple syrups are essentially just a combination of sugar and water, although other ingredients can be added to create a variety of flavours to stock your home bar with. We did a bit of experimenting and created a simple tea syrup recipe using an Apple & Elderflower tea, as well as an Earl Grey tea, to take our cocktail cabinet to the next level – but you can bet we’ll be making more!
Of course, you don't have to limit yourself to tea as flavour additions but it's a great place to start. We'll be experimenting with different ingredients like spices and fruit in the future!
Minimal ingredients and so easy to make, we definitely recommend giving this one a go! All you need is a few pantry staples and a jar or bottle to store your syrup in.
- 1 cup water
- 4 tea bags or a tablespoon of loose leaf tea of your choice
- 1 cup sugar
- 30 mL (1 US fl oz) vodka or other neutral spirit (optional)
- Bring the water to steeping temperature in a small pot – usually freshly boiled.
- Steep your tea in the water for the time stated on the pack - 4 minutes is usually sufficient. Remove the tea bags or strain out the tea leaves.
- Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring the tea to a rolling boil.
- Slowly add your sugar, taking care to stir until it has dissolved completely, and reduce the heat to medium.
- Keep heating for approximately 10 minutes, or until the liquid has roughly halved in volume.
- Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.
- Add the vodka and stir in well. This step is optional however, it will extend the shelf life of your syrup, so it is recommended.
- Once it has cooled sufficiently, pour the contents into an air-tight jar or bottle sanitised with boiling water.
- Store in the refrigerator. Without the addition of vodka, it should last a few months. With vodka, it’ll keep almost indefinitely. If there is no visible mould or off-smell then your syrup is fine.
Keep an eye out for some incoming cocktail recipes featuring these delicious simple tea syrups!