Simple syrup is two things: sugar and water. The ratio is also simple: 2 to 1, sugar to water.

Well, actually, let's look at that a bit more closely. A ratio of 2:1 is great when you need to sweeten something but you don't want to add a lot of liquid. For example, iced tea: You want to sweeten the tea, but you don't want to add a lot of water because that will make for weak tea. No good. A 1:1 ratio is also widely used, but it's a bit thin and may be too watery for some applications.

  • If you're feeling adventurous, you can flavor your simple syrup. Flavored simple syrups make great additions to drinks, even popsicles. Try our Mint-Lime Syrup or our Cucumber-Ginger Syrup.

Use simple syrup anywhere you'd use granulated sugar -- but can't because the sugar won't dissolve properly, such as in a cocktail or iced tea. Some recipes call for an amount of pre-made simple syrup in the recipe. Others include the simple syrup as part of the recipe. I recommend keeping some on hand for summer cocktails or iced drinks. It speeds up the drink making process -- no one likes waiting for their cool drinks when it's so hot outside. Just make a batch and store it in a glass jar or bottle in your refrigerator. It's good for two to three weeks.

You can let your simple syrup boil longer if you need a thicker syrup. Ever experience yellow simple syrup? That's a result of caramelizing the sugar. The longer you let it boil, the more likely it is to pick up a golden hue.

1. Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar and 3/4 cup water in a medium pan. Stir occasionally.

2. Bring sugar and water mixture to a boil. Boil until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is clear, or about 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Let the simple syrup cool completely, and then add it to your drinks or store it for later.