You need sugar to make cocktails. Sure, plenty of drinks are sweetened with liqueurs or other ingredients, but dozens of classics and countless original cocktails call for sugar. And, in many cases, they call specifically for simple syrup, an equal-parts mixture of water and granulated sugar.
Simple syrup variations are endless, as the sugar-and-water duo can be combined with fruits, herbs and spices to create infused syrups. But the most common variation is rich simple syrup, an essential tool in any bartender’s arsenal. This tweaked version is every bit as easy to make as “regular” simple syrup, but it features a higher ratio of sugar to water that adds extra sweetness to your cocktails.
The typical rich simple syrup recipe features two parts sugar and one part water. You can make it with white granulated sugar or demerara, a type of raw cane sugar with a richer taste—the latter creates a darker colored syrup. Add the sugar and water to a saucepan, and heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Once cooled, the silky liquid blends seamlessly with other ingredients when it’s shaken or stirred into your cocktails, avoiding the gritty remnants left by granulated sugar.
The best part about making rich simple syrup (or regular simple syrup, for that matter) is that it will keep in your fridge for at least one month. That’s good news because it means you’ll have a stash on hand the next time you make drinks. If you need some inspiration, deploy it in a Daiquiri or this updated version of the Amaretto Sour to see how it livens up your cocktails.
2 cups granulated sugar (or demerara sugar)
1 cup water
Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan set over medium heat.
Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Let cool, then pour into a glass jar and seal tightly with a lid.