The idea for this fall simple syrup comes from a triple syrup recipe. The concept of a triple simple syrup, made famous by Dale DeGroff, is a blend of white sugar, agave nectar and honey together to make a simple syrup that has more complexity, character and layers than a typical single sweetener simple syrup.
Originally, DeGroff’s goal was to include the flavor of honey without overwhelming the drink, and to add complexity to a basic simple syrup through the use of agave nectar. In essence, he created a syrup that had tones of honey, the more robust mouthfeel of agave nectar and the basic sweetness of any simple syrup.
I wanted to turn that on its head to create a simple that celebrated fall cocktails, using brown sugar to elicit molasses notes and a darker, more caramel sweetness than agave nectar. In addition, I wanted a ginger spice note added to it, so I infused it with some ginger to give the some of the additional flavors that make me think of fall.
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What is simple syrup?
Simple syrup, or simple as mixologists like to call it, is generally a 1:1 ratio (or 1:2 if you’re making rich simple syrup) of water and white sugar by weight. Mixed together until the sugar dissolves, it’s an easy way to add sweetness and thicken the texture of a cocktail without adding more aromas and flavors. While some heat up their simple syrup on the stove, I’m firmly of the mix it together in a mason jar until it dissolves and store it in the fridge.
What is triple simple syrup?
As mentioned above, a triple simple syrup takes the idea behind the different flavors of sweetness you can find in sweeteners and blends them together to create a simple syrup that has its own flavor. But that flavor does not overwhelm the cocktail the way a typical honey syrup or agave syrup might.
For DeGroff, the perfect ratio of his triple simple syrup is 1 part simple syrup, ½ part agave syrup and ¼ part honey syrup.
How to make this Fall Simple Syrup
For this version of simple syrup, I wanted to play with flavors that made me think of fall: maple syrup, honey, ginger, and baking spices. To put that flavor into a simple syrup, I substituted brown sugar for the agave, which when in a syrup has maple notes, but left the white sugar and honey syrup at the same ratios.
What’s created after mixing the sugars, honey and water over very low heat until dissolved has many facets. The honey is foremost in the flavors, but underneath sits the sweet caramel notes from the brown sugar, with a hint of vanilla or baking spice flavors. The generic sweetness of the white sugar simply provides a base for the combination of those flavors.
In addition, I steeped about ¼ cup of peeled, chopped ginger in the syrup as it simmered for about 15 minutes. That gives a slight ginger spice to the syrup, making it taste even more like fall to me.
How to Use the Fall Simple Syrup
Like any simple syrup, this fall-flavored creation will go well in old fashioneds, whiskey sours, rum and tiki creations, aged anejo tequila cocktails and anything that can hold its own against a honey-flavored simple.
In addition, it’s fantastic in hot tea, hot toddies or hot buttered rum. Oh, the hot buttered rum! This syrup is going to be my new best friend this fall, and I look forward to several more fun cocktails on the website with this.
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(Triple) Fall Simple Syrup
- 8 oz sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 8 oz water
- ¼ cup chopped peeled ginger
- Combine water, sugar, honey, brown sugar and ginger in a small saucepan and let simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the ginger steep in the syrup for 60 minutes. Strain into a clean jar and store in the fridge. This will keep for at least 3 weeks in the fridge, longer if you add some vodka to the mix.