Friday, September 16, 2011

Simply Complex

Simple syrup is not as simple as its name implies because there are quite a few different opinions on which ratios to use when making your own simple syrup.  The MiddleBar simple syrup is based on the 2 to 1 (sugar to water) measurement that adds a certain thickness and creamy mouth-feel to your sugar coated cocktails.

The viscosity of the 2 to 1 method makes your syrup more like the traditional bar or gomme (gum) syrup. Gum syrup is created when the ingredient of gum Arabic is added to the disolved sugar and water mixture. Gum Arabic is a natural emulsifier harvested from the acacia tree that is used in many classic cocktails to help combine spirits and juices more easily. Nowadays, finding gum Arabic is slightly more difficult but some specialty food stores do carry it (be prepared for quite the wild goose chase). If you do find it, make sure that you are using the food-based version and not the type used in photography, lithography, and even the making of fireworks!

Gum syrup is highly regarded by top bartenders as the only syrup that should be kept behind the bar, but you will not die or destroy a cocktail by using syrup without gum. Stick with the simple 2 to 1, simple syrup and you will be just fine because the average drinker (and many bartenders) most likely will never know the difference. 

1 cup water
2 cups sugar

Stir over low heat stirring continuously until sugar dissolves completely. Let cool and fill in a bottle for storage and refrigeration. If you will be storing for long periods of time and will be using your syrup for solely cocktails (not the lemonade for example) add a teaspoon of a distilled neutral spirit like vodka to extend the life of your syrup and don’t forget to refrigerate.

Sweet Ya’ll

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