makes 2 cups simple syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Making simple syrup is easy — just boil equal parts water and sugar. But why not up the ante and infuse it as it boils with basil. Or chilies! Or lime zest! Or all 3!
Other ideas: tea simple syrups with Jasmine tea or Earl Grey taste great in cocktails!
Mint simple syrups make for a quick anytime mojito!
5 whole star anise pods
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 plop vanilla bean paste
Toast the spices. Once fragrant, add the simple syrup to the pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes to infuse the syrup mixture with the flavor of the spices, then remove from the heat. Add vanilla bean paste. Let the mixture cool to at least room temperature, then strain it through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any solids. The syrup will keep for up to 1 month if refrigerated in an airtight container.