Tag Archives: Basics

Simple Syrup Recipe

Having a basic Simple Syrup recipe in your personal cocktail recipe folder is essential for every home bartender. - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Having a basic Simple Syrup recipe in your personal cocktail recipe folder is essential for every home bartender. – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Having a basic Simple Syrup recipe in your personal cocktail recipe folder is essential for every home bartender. The super easy {DIY} Simple Syrup recipe is less expensive than buying simple syrup. Simple Syrup only takes a few minutes to make from gathering ingredients to capping the finished product for storage. It would take you longer to go borrow a cup of sugar from your neighbor than it would take to make this super easy Simple Syrup recipe.

Simple Syrup Recipe

A Homemade Simple Syrup Recipe will stay fresh in sealed container in the refrigerator for two to three weeks. I use one ounce of vodka as preservative in my simple syrup recipe. - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

A Homemade Simple Syrup Recipe will stay fresh in sealed container in the refrigerator for two to three weeks. I use one ounce of vodka as preservative in my simple syrup recipe. – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Simple Syrup

1 cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 cup Distilled Water

1 ounce Vodka – optional

Place granulated sugar and water in saucepan over low heat. Stir continuously. Heat until sugar is completely melted and mixture just begins to simmer. Remove from heat. Allow to cool. Add vodka as preservative if desired. Strain into glass bottle. Seal with lid. Refrigerate.

Simple Syrup Recipe instrucktions: Place granulated sugar and water in saucepan over low heat. Stir continuously. Heat until sugar is completely melted and mixture just begins to simmer. Allow to cool. Add 1 ounce vodka. Strain into glass storage container. Refrigerate. - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Simple Syrup Recipe instrucktions: Place granulated sugar and water in saucepan over low heat. Stir continuously. Heat until sugar is completely melted and mixture just begins to simmer. Allow to cool. Add 1 ounce vodka. Strain into glass storage container. Refrigerate. – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Simple Syrup Recipe Storage and Notes

Clean and reuse emptied liquor bottles for your simple syrup recipe, sour mixes and other infusions. - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Clean and reuse emptied liquor bottles for your simple syrup recipe, sour mixes and other infusions. – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

I store my homemade simple syrup recipe batches in the refrigerator for two to three weeks. Simple syrup recipes that contain real fruit might need to be made in smaller batches as they have a shorter shelf life to remain fresh.

Distilled water is not entirely necessary in the Simple Syrup recipe. I use distilled water or bottled water depending on what I have in the pantry at the time. This way I know I am not getting any tap water additives or minerals in the Simple Syrup recipe mixture. I used tap water for a long time and honestly, I am not sure if it makes a huge difference.

Vodka is also used as a preservative in very small quantities to extend the shelf life of some homemade skin care products.

Simple Syrup recipe ingredients are granulated sugar, water and vodka as preservative. - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Simple Syrup recipe ingredients are granulated sugar, water and vodka as preservative. – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Once you have the basic Simple Syrup recipe committed to memory, flavored simple syrups are the next step to creative cocktail mixology.

Add your comment: What flavored Simple Syrup recipes would you recommend to others?

Cheri Loughlin Beverage Consultant & Photography Services

All content ©2013 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

Ginger Vanilla Syrup

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This Ginger Vanilla Syrup was created specifically for use while sampling the Penicillin Cocktail. However, it would be a terrific addition to dark rum Daiquiri’s. I could also see pairing the Ginger Vanilla Syrup with some of the more herbal liqueurs, lemon juice and then topping with brut champagne. This might also pair nicely with vanilla based liqueurs and citrus vodkas and rums. Just experiment. Cocktails are supposed to be fun!

The Ginger Vanilla Syrup I created is listed below and posted with the Penicillin Cocktail. This syrup is spicy sweet, caramel in color and delicious.

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You can use fresh ginger if you choose, but I opted for Gourmet Garden Ginger Paste. You can find it in the fresh produce aisle. I like it because it’s quick and easy to use. There isn’t any peeling or chopping. It really is a no fuss, no muss product.

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Just eyeball level tablespoons when measuring the ginger paste.

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Your strainer is going to get a little heavy with ginger pulp. Take a spoon and pull some of the ginger away from one side of the strainer. Tilt the strainer so the syrup can flow through the section you’ve cleared. Then just be patient.

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The syrup needs to cool, so just let it sit and finish dripping. Don’t press any of the solid ginger through the strainer.

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Ginger Vanilla Syrup – created by Cheri Loughlin

3 Tablespoons Garden Gourmet Ginger Paste

1 cup Demerara Cane Sugar

2/3 cup Water

1 ounce Homemade Vanilla Extract

Place ginger, sugar and water in saucepan over low heat. Stir continuously until sugar has melted and mixture begins to lightly bubble. Remove from heat. Double strain into heat resistant measuring cup. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Add vanilla. [store purchased Vanilla Extract may be substituted] Stir. Once syrup is completely cool, place in glass container with lid. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2013 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved.

Mixology Monday: Essential Bartender Skills

Bar 071 photo copyright Cheri Loughlin

My date and I sat at a bar a couple of weeks ago. He ordered his usual Martini and I looked over the cocktail menu. It’s always a little difficult to decide what to order. Are the cocktails too sweet, will they be the same five drinks on every bar menu and what kind of bartender is behind the bar? My drink decision usually has less to do with what’s on the menu and more with who is behind the bar. I watch the bartender make my date’s Martini and decide.

Mixology Monday Question ~ As a bar patron, what knowledge and/or skills do you consider essential in a good bartender?

Bartender Chicago 047 photo copyright Cheri Loughlin

When I put the question above to Facebook and Twitter, people chimed in. Even though bartending is a drink oriented job, the expertise many talked about were people skills and being a good listener. It’s a customer service profession. No one wants a rude or condescending bartender slinging drinks. Nor do they want to be ignored.

Dominic P. – Friendliness and approachability make a good bartender, being standoffish and superior are really unappealing. But really listening to the customer’s desires and creating something suitable is the best skill.

Patrick G. – A personality!

Doug C. – People skills… We get caught up into thinking we’re in the drink making business. While this is obviously important, I really feel like we need to remember that this is, first and foremost, a people business.

Kevin M. – Listening along with good service. I hate being ignored more than anything.

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But patrons do want a good drink! Too many cocktails are way too sweet, watered down, topped with soda pop, and yes I will say this… over-poured. Sometimes too much alcohol ruins a cocktail, too. Flavor balance really is a good thing.

Armin – Good taste!

Dominic P. – Too many cocktails are drowned with sweet and sours. Yes it tastes nice but there’s no skill in smothering the flavors.

Matt D. – The ability to make a proper Old Fashioned!

Alan – I don’t do mixed drinks often, so for me it’s about being knowledgeable about the products you serve and being personable.

Randy – Skill: “Know your product.” I hate a bar with a nice whisky list and NO ONE knows what a “Speyside” is. It’s a dram shame.

Phil H. – Beer knowledge.

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There are certain actions that clue you in right away about a bartender. Watching for just a few minutes can tell you quite a bit about the kind of experience you’ll have sitting at the bar.

Dean M. – It all starts with acknowledgement and customer service!!!

Mitch – Charisma. Speed. Quality.

Cynthia H. – Actually like people in general. Skills in communicating with them. Really, truly knowledgeable around the bar, spirits and potion making.

MuseOfDoom – When to stir and when to shake.

I ordered a Negroni on the rocks that evening, though I was really feeling like enjoying something served in a martini glass. After watching the bartender shake my date’s Martini I knew it wouldn’t matter what cocktail I ordered, it wouldn’t be enjoyable.

Bartender Shaking Cocktail - photo copyright Cheri Loughlin

I’ll be perfectly honest and say, it usually makes no difference to me whether a bartender shakes or stirs a martini. If he stirs, I know he’s done the homework and probably has more cocktail knowledge under his hat. I value that. But what I do watch for before I order is how a bartender shakes any cocktail. If a bartender has a lazy shake I won’t order anything served in a cocktail glass. Moving a cocktail shaker back and forth three or four times is not shaking a cocktail. It barely even cools the tin. It’s bad form. It’s bad service. It’s bad bartending. It also lost business. We didn’t finish our drinks and went elsewhere to eat and have a better round of cocktails.

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2013 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved.

Homemade Orgeat Syrup

Orgeat Syrup, almond flavored syrup, is a standard ingredient in the popular classic Mai Tai drink. It is also another one of those difficult to find syrups. Not every liquor store or grocer carries Orgeat Syrup, but that doesn’t mean it has to be omitted from any cocktails you might like to try. Just take a little time and make your own. This particular recipe yields a little over half a gallon of Orgeat Syrup making this an excellent gifting or sharing idea.

Demerara Sugar is excellent in cocktail recipes and simple syrups.

Orgeat Syrup has a tendency to separate whether store bought or made at home. Simply shake before use.

Try your hand at a few of these cocktail recipes with Orgeat Syrup inclusion.

Orgeat Syrup

1 pound Blanched Almonds – no salt

3/4 pound Demerara Sugar

3/4 pound Granulated Sugar

1 tablespoon Orange Flower Water

2 teaspoons Almond Extract

11 ounces Water

32 ounces Water – Boiled

2 ounces Vodka – optional

Place almonds and 11 ounces of water in blender. Blend until almonds are roughly chopped. Pour into wide mouthed, heat resistant glass jar. Add 32 ounces boiling water. Stir. Allow to stand for approximately three hours. Double strain through cheesecloth into large saucepan. It may be necessary to press liquid mixture through cheesecloth with wooden spoon. Fold ends of cheesecloth up around remaining pulp mixture and squeeze out all remaining liquid. Do not skip this step since the pulp contains a fair amount of flavor. Discard cheesecloth.

Add sugars to liquid mixture in saucepan. Heat over low heat until all sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Allow to cool. Add in orange flower water and almond extract. Add vodka if desired. Vodka acts as a preservative in this case. Funnel mixture into bottle with lid. Store Orgeat Syrup in refrigerator.

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2013 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved.

Homemade Falernum

A good homemade falernum recipe is good to keep on hand. It’s sometimes difficult to find in stores, but is a necessary component in some Tiki style cocktails. It’s also growing in popularity in many other contempory mixed drink recipes such as sangrias and punches.

So, what is falernum? Falernum is simply delicious. It is a bit of spice, bit of sweet and ever so warming. There are almonds, cloves and sometimes ginger. The texture is smooth with lingering silky spice that mellows over the tongue. Falernum is a simple, yet beautiful flavor. It warms cool weather cocktails and brightens warm weather drinks. I think it’s simply divine. Every bar should stock this amazing bottled treat!

Try your hand at making Falernum at home with this easy homemade falernum recipe. Your taste buds will thank you!

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Falernum

10 Medium Limes – peeled

10 Whole Cloves

5 Whole Raw Almonds

1 teaspoon Sugar

1 – 750ml Bottle White Rum

Peel limes, removing all white pith. Cut limes in half. Place cut and peeled limes in large glass container with lid. Add cloves, raw almonds, sugar and white rum. Save the rum bottle. Cover. Store in sunny window for approximately three days. Taste for desired flavor. When satisfied with flavor, double strain mixture into cleaned rum bottle. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator if desired.

Try your homemade concoction in any of the Falernum cocktail recipes found on the site.

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2013 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved.