Also called sugar syrup, simple syrup is a basic solution of sugar and water that has been heated until the sugar is completely dissolved. Simple syrups are used in a variety of recipes in the kitchen, whether brushed over cake layers before frosting to add moisture, tossed with fruit salads to sweeten, or shaken with cocktails for flavor and balance.
The ratio of sugar to water in a simple syrup can vary depending on its use in a recipe, but a good basic standard is equal parts of each: 1 part sugar to 1 part water. To make simple syrup, cook the water and sugar in a saucepan over high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes, depending on how much you are making. Simple syrup will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to a few months.
For extra depth in the final dish, flavor the syrup. Add the peel from citrus fruit to the water and sugar before cooking the syrup, or steep fresh herbs or spices with the syrup as it cools. Stir a little liqueur or fruit jelly in with the syrup to boost the flavor. You can even replace the water with fruit juice, tea or coffee before making the syrup.
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Total time: 12 minutes
Note: Adapted from Tim Staehling, the Hungry Cat. To make simple syrup, heat equal parts sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool before using.
2 to 3 ripe Fuyu persimmons
1/2 ounce simple syrup (or to taste)
Ground cinnamon, for rimming the glass
Fine salt, for rimming the glass
Lime wedge, for rimming the glass
1 3/4 ounce tequila reposado
1 ounce lime juice, fresh-squeezed
Lime wheel, for garnish
1. Make the persimmon purée: In a blender, purée the persimmons (with skins), adding simple syrup to taste. This makes about one-half cup purée. The purée will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.
2. Prepare a martini glass by placing 1 part cinnamon and 2 parts salt (taste and adjust ratio as desired) on a small plate, wet the rim of the glass with a lime wedge, then dip it in the mixture. In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine the tequila, 1 1/2 ounces of persimmon purée and lime juice. Shake vigorously and strain into the rimmed glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Each cocktail: 242 calories; 1 grams protein; 35 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 24 grams sugar; 3 mg. sodium.