Have you ever gone to a restaurant and tried to sweeten your iced tea with a packet of granulated sugar? What happens? Not much, right? All the sugar granules meant to sweeten your tea sink to the bottom. You’re left with UNsweetened tea and sad taste buds. Sure, those granules will eventually dissolve, but you’ll finish your beverage before that happens.
Since sugar is more soluble in hot liquids than cold liquids, you’ll always have this problem with restaurant iced tea. But at home, there’s a remedy for this! Make a simple syrup. Below I will explain how and why you should make your own simple syrup. And most importantly, I’ll give you a recipe on how to make a naturally-flavored syrup using 100% pure, edible essential oils.
Essential oil-flavored simple syrup will add sweet, unique flavors, and even health benefits, to your desserts and beverages. Just think of all the possibilities! Perhaps a lavender lemonade? Or a lemon/rosemary tea?
Simple syrups are not reserved for only cold items, you can use them on and in baked goods, too. Imagine drizzling a peppermint-flavored syrup over a freshly baked chocolate bundt cake. It soaks into the cake, keeping it moist and flavorful.
Oh man, I’m having all the drools…
Flavored simple syrups are everywhere – they’re used in coffee and cocktails all over the world. But, did you know that it’s called “simple syrup” because it consists of only two main ingredients? Sugar and water. And it’s extremely simple to make!
You can spruce up your syrup by flavoring it the old way (adding fresh herbs and fruits to the syrup during the heating process and skimming them out at the end) OR, you can do it the quick, easy, and longer-lasting way by using 100% pure, edible essential oils.
Fresh herbs/fruits vs. essential oils?
Herbs and fruits are perishable. If they are used in your syrup, it will lose flavor within 24 hours and go bad quickly. It will have to be consumed within a day or so. This is okay if you are going to be using it all up the same day. But for those who want to store it in their fridge, and use as needed, essential oils are the way to go.
Essential oils will pack a flavorful punch to your syrup, giving it a much longer shelf life. It’s a great way to incorporate sweetness and fresh natural flavoring to items that wouldn’t do well with a grocery-store extracts.
Oh, and the BEST part!? How often do you find flavorings that actually have health benefits? Um, never. In order to keep those lovely health benefits, the essential oils are added to the syrup after it’s cooled down a bit. High heat diminishes the health benefits in essential oils.
Think of the wide variety of flavors you will have to choose from! Lemon, lime, tangerine, bergamot, lavender, black pepper, pink pepper, fennel, ginger, basil, marjoram, Roman chamomile, peppermint, lemongrass, rosemary, wild orange, cassia, cinnamon bark and many more. And the myriad of combinations that you can create! You need only 1-2 drops (sometimes less) of essential oil to flavor the whole batch, and so it’s very economical.
PLEASE ONLY USE 100% PURE, FOOD GRADE ESSENTIAL OILS. As you may have heard, not all essential oils are created equal. You can’t buy any old oil from a store and ingest it. They are not all 100% pure (EVEN IF THE BOTTLE SAYS 100% PURE ESSENTIAL OIL!!). Only certain companies provide the purest of essential oils that are safe for consumption. The bottles I purchase have a “Supplement Facts” on the bottle if it is ingestible. The company is also very open and forthcoming about their oil sourcing, testing for purity, etc. So you know that you are getting exactly what the bottle’s label says.
The recipe below is commonly known as the 1:1 method. There is also a 2:1 method which is much richer – it takes 2x the amount of sugar as the 1:1 method.
SIMPLE, SIMPLE SYRUP WITH ESSENTIAL OILS
1 C granulated white sugar (for richer syrup, use 2 C sugar)
1 C water
1 drop (or more or less, depending on which oil is used)
16 oz. sterilized mason jar
Gently heat sugar and water until sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat immediately and allow to cool. Do not let boil.
Boil some water in a kettle to use to sterilize the mason jar/lid. Sterilize your mason jar by filling it with boiling water – and pour some over the lid too. Only dump out the boiling water once you are ready to fill your jar with the hot syrup.
Dump the boiling water out of your jar and fill it with your yummy hot syrup. When the syrup has cooled, add the essential oil(s). Tighten the lid and shake.
Date your jar and store it in the fridge for about a month. If you use the 2:1 method, it should last up to 6 months. (**TIP: For an even longer shelf life, add a shot of vodka to the mixture (it may keep for a year!).
I’d love to hear your flavor combinations – please share below!