Frugal Foodie Mama: Summer Simple Syrup 3 Ways

Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer Simple Syrup 3 Ways

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It would suffice to say that I love summer drinks.  
Be it with rum or vodka... or without. ;)

Believe it or not, I made simple syrup for the very first time at home just earlier this summer.  Yes.  I was one of those people who actually bought a bottle of sugared up water at the liquor store. 
Once I read how ridiculously easy it was to make your own simple syrup at home, I literally planted a palm to my forehead.  
Had I really been paying for sugar and water??  Oy!

Those of you who have been following me for the past couple of months know my obsession with mojitos.  You probably saw (and hopefully pinned!) my recipe for Spiced Pineapple Mojitos.  Or perhaps you caught my drinks contributor post on White Lights on Wednesday for my Blueberry Ginger Mojitos.  ;) 
Well, simple syrup is essential for the perfect mojito, my friends.  
Essential.

I decided to start experimenting with infusing simple syrups with my favorite flavors of summer- strawberry, blueberry, and basil.
The results were amazing.

Today I am going to be sharing with you all the recipes for my Summer Simple Syrup 3 Ways, but over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing some delicious and refreshing beverages you can easily make with them.  
And think WAY beyond the mojito, folks.  That would be too easy... ;)

Summer Simple Syrups 3 Ways

by Frugal Foodie Mama
Prep Time: 2-5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes (includes steeping
Ingredients (3 pint jars of simple syrup)
    For the simple syrup base (you will need this for all 3 simple syrup recipes)
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup water
    For the Basil Simple Syrup
    • 1 large handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
    For the Strawberry Simple Syrup
    • 1 cup of hulled and chopped strawberries (about 5 large strawberries)
    For the Blueberry Simple Syrup
    • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
    Instructions
    To create the simple syrup for each flavor, you will need the base of 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup water. You will combine the sugar and the water in a small saucepan and heat until slightly boiling and the sugar is completely dissolved. You can choose to leave this plain- If you do so, just allow it to cool completely before transferring to a glass jar.
    You could also choose to make all 3 syrups at one time. To do this combine 3 cups of sugar with 3 cups of water in a large saucepan. Heat til slightly boiling and all the sugar is dissolved. Then divide into 3 different bowls to infuse.

    To make the Basil Simple Syrup
    Drop the handful of basil leaves into the simple syrup immediately after removing it from the heat. Give it a quick stir. Allow the basil leaves to steep in the syrup for at least 30 minutes. The longer you allow it to infuse, the stronger the basil flavor will be.
    When done infusing, strain the syrup through a wire mesh strainer into a glass jar. Refrigerate.

    To make the Strawberry Simple Syrup
    Saute the strawberries in a small frying pan for 2-3 minutes. Drop them into the simple syrup immediately after removing it from the heat. Give it a quick stir. Allow the strawberries to steep in the syrup for at least 30 minutes. The longer you allow it to infuse, the stronger the strawberry flavor will be.
    When done infusing, strain the syrup through a wire mesh strainer into a glass jar. Refrigerate.

    To make the Blueberry Simple Syrup
    Saute the blueberries in a small frying pan for 3-4 minutes. You want most of the berries to burst open. Drop them into the simple syrup immediately after removing it from the heat. Give it a quick stir. Allow the blueberries to steep in the syrup for at least 30 minutes. The longer you allow it to infuse, the stronger the blueberry flavor will be.
    When done infusing, strain the syrup through a wire mesh strainer into a glass jar. Refrigerate.

    The jars of lidded simple syrup will keep in the fridge for 1-2 months.
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    I actually made all 3 of the syrups right before our 4th of July barbecue. I whipped up a picture of plain mojitos (sans the simple syrup) and let my family pour their own mojitos and then add whichever (and how much) of the flavored simple syrups themselves.  It was a fun self-serve mojito bar- perfect for a cookout! (And I wasn't stuck muddling limes and mint all evening when someone needed another drink- genius!)

    These simple syrups are also perfect for simply flavoring and sweetening your favorite iced tea or a glass of club soda. 

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    I have 3 fun drinks coming your all's way using these Summer Simple Syrups.  
    Believe me when I say they will be going WAY beyond flavoring and sweetening your simple mojito.

    If you could infuse a simple syrup with a flavor that says summer to you, what would it be? :)

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