Happy Fourth of July weekend. I hope you have big plans for barbecues, fireworks and a few tasty beverages.
We love entertaining and especially grilling, but with the kiddos we have cooled our jets a bit this summer. We haven't even purchased a grill yet. Whoops.
But that doesn't mean we can't indulge in a few tasty cocktails to celebrate America's birthday.
One of our favorites are these blueberry-ginger mojitos. They are divine. And like most cocktails, they begin with simple syrup.
No-Cook Simple Syrup
Simple syrup is a piece of cake to make, but you do have to plan enough ahead that the syrup has time to cool before you use it. I also thought that there was only one way to make it until Food52 told me otherwise.
Stir equal parts of water and sugar together thoroughly. Wait 10 to 15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid looks clear. And you're done!
Here's a handy equation to make the exact amount you need: 1 cup of sugar dissolved in 1 cup of water makes 1 1/2 cups of syrup. This means that for every 1 cup of syrup needed, just mix 2/3 cup sugar with 2/3 cup water. For example, if your sorbet recipe calls for 1/2 cup of simple syrup, simply mix 1/3 cup sugar with 1/3 cup of water.
I mean, seriously. Why have I been dealing with the gas stove and dirtying a pot to make syrup before this?
We used this syrup to make some yummy classic mojitos. Goodness they were delicious in the steamy summer air on our porch.
But don't walk away thinking that you have to walk the sugar/water line. You can play with your syrup by adding all kinds of interesting things:
- Herbs: Stir a generous quantity of herb leaves or whole sprigs into the syrup and chill it. Keep it cold for up to 10 hours for soft leaves like mint, basil, and tarragon or a couple of days for sturdier herbs like thyme and rosemary. Strain and discard the herbs and store the syrup in the fridge. If any syrup tastes too strong, add equal measures of sugar and water.
- Citrus zest: Follow the same guidelines as above
- Juices: You can substitute fresh squeezed juice for water or stir in chunks of the fruit for infusing in the fridge.