Suzi's Blog

Sugar Syrup Revisted

Whack. Bam. Crunch. It’s a melody that has been occurring periodically in our kitchen.

“Don’t hurt the marble.” Suzen is very protective of her counter top. I’m protective of my plastic quart container.

My fridge always has a quart of sugar syrup on the top shelf, ready for use in cooking and certainly needed for many of the cocktails I try. Yes, a little sugar syrup is a secret ingredient used in the best of margaritas.

But, I’ve been having a constant problem with that container. After a few days, the sugar begins to “undissolve” out of the syrup. [I was not a chemistry major so I don't know the right word here.] My syrup is literally coming apart and the sediment on the bottom of the container is hard, rock hard. So, at some point, I use up what liquid syrup remains and then apply hot water and banging to clean the container.

To attack this problem, I’ve experimented with the way I making the syrup and I believe I have the solution: alter the ratio of sugar to water, and, simmer until golden.

The classic syrup recipe calls for a ratio of 2:1 in sugar and syrup. So you put 2 cups of sugar in a saucepan, add 1 cup of water, then stir to dissolve the sugar as you bring the mixture to a boil. After you reach a boil, different recipes call either for some continued simmering or none at all.

In my shift, I’m using equal amounts of sugar and water, so 2 cups of each. Then, after the syrup first reaches a boil, I back off the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes. The liquid develops a light golden color. Light, not dark. The simmering ensures that the sugar has truly dissolved into the water and that there are no mini-crystals left to trigger that crystalization process I want to avoid.

Yes, this “dilutes” the syrup but it’s still very sweet to the taste and has worked well in cocktail assembly.

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