Honey Simple SyrupThis recipe is an easy way to add depth of flavor to cocktails, sauces, marinades, and much, much more
Honey simple syrup is an easy way to add some of the complex flavors in honey to cocktails, tea, coffee, and more. What makes honey such a unique sweetener is that it adds rich, complex flavors to whatever you’re cooking while refined sugar and most other sweeteners just add sweetness.
The advantage of using honey in a simple syrup, rather than by itself, is it’s a lot easier to work with and doesn’t make everything around it sticky – which seems to happen a lot when we use honey by itself.
A lot of cooks learn how to make a simple honey syrup so they can use it as a canvas to create a range of syrups by adding things like ginger, lavender, lemongrass, mint, and rosemary.
If you’re someone who likes to explore local ingredients honey is the gift that keeps giving, not only do different types of honey have different characteristics and colors, honey from the same bees can change dramatically over the year as they visit different kinds of plants.
Using Honey Syrup in Cocktails
This simple syrup is an excellent addition to cocktails. Honey adds layers of flavors that ordinary refined sugar can’t.
Since honey gets its flavors from the flowers and plants that the bees feed on it’s an ideal ingredient for mixing up cocktails with complex characters and is especially valuable for highlighting floral notes in drinks.
A few popular honey cocktails are the Bees Knees, Gold Rush, and the Torchlight. Our Bees Knees recipe is one of our favorite spring and summer cocktails to serve with dinner or dessert.
How to Make Honey Simple Syrup
Here are a few other helpful tidbits. The syrup should last for two to three weeks. We recommend refrigerating it but found several writers during our research who don’t think it’s necessary since honey doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
The primary advantage of using honey as part of a syrup is it’s easier to work with when it has a little more viscosity.
The syrup can also be used as a substitute for sugar in vinaigrettes, sauces, marinades, and baked goods. We often swap out some of the sugar in fruits crisps and pies with honey for the way it enhances and compliments the flavors in the fruits.
Some cooks like to use a ratio of 2 to 1 or 3 to 1 honey to water to create a thicker version of the syrup that they use as a general sweetener and as the basis for salad dressings.
The advantage of using it this way is the syrup is easier to work with than honey but is still thick enough that it doesn’t make things runny.
Using honey this way means you might need to add slightly more than what’s called for in recipes that are written for honey by itself or sugar.
One thing we highly recommend if you like cooking with honey, molasses, or other thick sticky ingredients is picking up an adjustable measuring cup. They’re the only thing that works for accurately measuring sticky stuff.
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup water
- In a small saucepan, combine the honey and water over low heat.
- Use a whisk to slowly stir the honey until it has dissolved into the water. This usually takes 5 to 10 minutes.
- The color of the simple syrup when it’s done will be a slightly lighter shade than the honey used.
- Store in a plastic squeeze bottle for 2 to 3 weeks.
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