Simple syrup is a form of liquid sweetener made by boiling roughly equal parts sugar and water together until the mixture has been reduced to about one half its original volume. They are ideal for sweetening iced coffee, iced tea and cold cocktails.
Simple syrups can be flavored with different ingredients, such as fresh fruit (like the fresh strawberries in this recipe), juices, herbs and spices. Flavored simple syrups are a natural alternative to artificially flavored syrups.
If you make flavored simple syrups with less sugar, they can also be warmed up and drizzled over ice cream, pancakes and other sweets.
Note: This Strawberry Simple Syrup recipe can be modified with various optional ingredients to suit your tastes. I recommend sticking to the basic recipe or using one optional ingredient per batch.
- 1 cup strawberries (diced fresh)
- 3/4 cup strawberry puree (made from about one cup of fresh strawberries)
- 3/4 to 1 cup sugar (or 1/2 cup if you want a less sweet simple syrup)
- 1 cup water
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (or lemon zest)
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Optional: 2 tablespoons mint (chopped fresh, or rosemary, basil or other herbs)
- Optional: 1 tablespoon cardamom (crushed pods)
- Optional: 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Place the water, sugar and strawberry puree together in a medium saucepan. On medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil.
- When sugar mixture reaches a boil, add the diced strawberries and any optional ingredients you'd like to include. Simmer until the mixture is reduced by about one-half and the strawberries are soft enough to press through a sieve. (This should take about 15 minutes.)
- Pour, and then press, the mixture through a fine sieve.
- Use warm, or allow to cool, then seal in a clean container and store in refrigerator for up to six months.
- Add to taste in drinks like iced teas (such as Iced Strawberry Green Tea), lemonades, sangrias and fruit-flavored cocktails.
Alternately, if you already have plain simple syrup on hand, you can simmer two cups of it with ten to 12 diced strawberries for ten minutes, then proceed to step three.