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The Best Simple Syrup, According To Science
Simple syrup is a mixture of sugar and water that is aptly named for its short list of ingredients and rapid prep time. However, if you routinely make simple syrup over the stove, you may be overcomplicating the process. Cocktail science experts explain how to make simple syrup in the most ergonomic way, and how to flavor it, too.
Heating up sugar and water speeds up the sugar's dissolution process, but it's not a necessity; sugar dissolves in water just fine at room temperature. Try making simple syrup at room temperature and you’ll have fewer dirty dishes, you'll spend less time, and your finished product will actually be slightly thicker than the heated version.
Experts also say that flavoring agents, like herbs or juice, are better infused into the syrup at room temperature. Room-temp sugar will dissolve in 15-20 minutes at a 1:1 sugar-water ratio, while a 2:1 ratio will dissolve in around 45 minutes. However, you should also keep in mind that heating simple syrup increases its shelf life and kills bacteria.