Aug 21, 2013

Mint Simple Syrup

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It's August, and the days have been long, lazy, and warm. Lately all I can think about is lounging by the beach and cool, refreshing drinks (ahem, my Pinterest board, as evidence... guilty as charged!). I've been trying to drink more water lately but let's face it--plain water is kinda sorta super boring. In an effort to spice it up I've been making big pots of iced tea--everything from mint to chai to fruit blends--and adding simple syrup. One of my new favorite obsessions is iced tea with mint simple syrup, and it literally could not be easier to make! Plus, it's a great use for all of the fresh mint I have growing in my apartment!

The best part about mint simple syrup is how easy and versatile it is. You can use it as a glaze for cakes or homemade ice cream, add it to tea (I adore mint simple syrup with Republic of Tea's ginger peach green tea--it's an unexpectedly wonderful combination) or coffee, and even use it to lightly sweeten plain water. You can also make fancy ice cubes out of the syrup for an extra summer treat!

There are two methods for making mint simple syrup. One is to boil the mint leaves directly with the water and sugar, and then strain out the mint. This method is a lot faster, but can give you a bit of a "cooked" mint flavor, which some people don't like. The other method is to add mint to the syrup after it's made--this is the method I'm posting here. Either way I don't really think you can go wrong with minty, sugary goodness! I've done both methods and have been perfectly happy with each of them.

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Mint Simple Syrup
Prep time - 5 minutes / Cook time - 5 minutes / Makes one cup of syrup

1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
A few large sprigs of fresh mint (I use 5-6)

Add the sugar and water to a small pot over medium heat. Stir occasionally until all of the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear (this should happen fairly quickly) and pour the syrup into a jar. You now have plain simple syrup! Allow the mixture to cool and then add the mint sprigs. Cover, and allow the mixture to steep for 1-2 days. Remove the mint and enjoy! You can store the syrup in the fridge for about a month.