Say that headline five times fast… Although the name gives you a hint as to the ease of creating an infused simple syrup, there’s nothing basic about the flavor profiles you can create in cocktails or nonalcoholic drinks with these quick secret weapons. The sky’s the limit. Try herbs like rosemary, or add cinnamon sticks or hot peppers for a kick or fresh fruit for some subtle sweetness.

1) Make Your Base

A 1:1 simple syrup is generally best for infusions, so start with equal parts sugar and water (1 cup of each is good). Put the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. When boiling, add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

2) Add Your Flavor

If your flavor includes a lot of small pieces, you might want to consider adding them to a paper tea filter or a nut milk bag so you can remove them easily without straining. Simmer the syrup and add your chosen herbs or fruits. You likely won’t need much more than five minutes for most infusions. Taste as you go to get the right flavor for your purposes.

3) Strain Your Solids

When you’ve reached your optimum infusion level, remove the syrup from the heat. If you’re using a tea bag, you can take it out now. Otherwise, use a strainer and a silicone funnel to pour into a bowl or other container to cool. Allow the syrup to come to room temperature. 

4) Bottle the Goods

Once cool, pour into a bottle or jar using the funnel. If you’ve infused with herbs, the syrup will often keep for three months or more in the fridge. (Give it a sniff before you use it.) If you’re infusing with fruits or vegetables, you’ll want to use it up in two to three weeks.

This article originally ran in the spring 2020 issue of Sip Magazine. For the full story and more like it, click here.