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Secrets of Darcy - this is the best way to create sugar syrup

I am a "rich syrup guy"... not a "simple syrup guy".
This is, because it is better to be able to control dilution by yourself - not by he setup you have got.

I had also a pretty straight forward method: adding 1 kg sugar into 1/2 liter of cold water and blend until dissolved (be carefully, not to blend too long with a high-performance blender, because it would heat up).

The issue here: it takes some time - because sugar doesn't "like" to dissolve in cold liquid.

A lot of bartenders are adding sugar into hot liquid. This isn't a good idea either: due to hydrolysis the sucrose is converting into fructose and glucose. This makes the sugar thicker and sweeter - but also makes the result less consistent (as you don't meticulously monitor all details (time, temperature, pH, etc.). Further the thickness of the glucose worsen the ability of the syrup to mix in cold liquid (speak a cocktail).

Darcy, of artofdrink.com has a profound chemistry insight and taught me a very easy fix: add a pinch of bicarbonate. As the liquid becomes slightly alkaline, you effectively prevent hydrolysis.

Problem solved:

1000 g white caster sugar
500 ml warm water
1 pinch of bicarbonate of soda

Blend or stir until it is dissolved (which will be quick).

You could also use hot water - however if you are using a blender, this might be a bad idea, as the syrup expands rapidly in the blender, if you are not carefully. Safety first!

From this basic recipe, you could take 3 routes, to use it in your drinks:

  1. You can use it as is (whiskey sours, fizzes etc.)
  2. You can infuse it (while hot - or when cold) with spices, fruits, peels etc.
  3. You can emulsify it with essential (edible) oils (the Darcy way).


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