Do some googling on "sugar crystals in simple syrup" for more complete answers. Short answer -- any sugar will work (personally, I like to make sure it is cane but don't get fancier than that). If it is a true simple syrup (water/sugar and that's it) you will likely have crystalization problems in storage. You should be able to store on the shelf (no need to refrigerate) for several weeks -- certainly, it is used up here before it ever goes bad so I don't know the actual shelf life (your google search may reveal more info on that too). What your search should reveal: the need to add some cream of tartar, honey, or other "non-sugar" items to keep all those sugar molecules properly stirred up and not crystalizing. It should also tell you in what quantity. Good luck!!
Just cane sugar. In some cases you don't want raw or brown sugar that colors the drink.
Sugar and water should keep 'indefinitely' in the 'fridge, and a few months or more.
If it's infused--it really depends on what you infuse it with, herbs not so long...but things like ginger or celery seed you can store for months. Just keep it chilled.
A lot is going to depend on the storage container, if it's exposed to air when you use it and if you put a spoon into it etc, like with a jar.
I use a plan white squeeze bottle from wal-mart (the style you'd see in red or yellow for mustard and ketchup). So, it's easy to dispense a bit for tea or a cocktail and doesn't get exposed to air or spoons etc.
Simple syrup, simple sugar. White, granulated cane. That's not to say other sugars (Demerara especially) don't make delicious syrups, just that they aren't simple syrups.
Different bartenders use different ratios, between 1:1 and 2:1 (sugar to water). My personal preference is 1:1, boiled for 5 min. Keeps "forever" under refrigeration, no crystallization issues. Storing it at RT will, like maple syrup, shorten its life expectancy.
You guys can type quicker than I can think!
Suggestion: A clear bottle (I like the Finest Call bottles) will allow you to see when your syrup has been contaminated with yeast. It will happen, sooner or later, and I prefer to catch the fact *before* I mix a drink.
Wow! I'd love to know how you don't have crystalization issues -- I ALWAYS do, which is why I recently researched how to prevent same. 1:1 water/cane sugar, boil at least 10 minutes (low boil). And crystalization occurs within a week, regardless of whether it is in the fridge or on the shelf. I'm totally awed and impressed that you don't have crystalization problems, but it isn't just me, as I discovered when I did the research -- there were some pretty good chemical explanations of the process that causes crystalization. Here's hoping that your syrup stays simple and never crystalizes! :)
I too have never had crystallization issues with simple sugars or infusions. Maybe you have 'starter crystals' on the pan that aren't completely dissolved? Or something in the container you use?
I don't know--that is a puzzler for me. I just boil 1 to 1 water and cane and put in a squeeze bottle. I always do 1:1 as it's easier to control sweetness for drinks.
I will venture three guesses as to why you have crystallization problems at 1:1
Boiling for 10 minutes will likely reduce your final ratio to approximately 2:1 (which is unstable under refrigeration).
A single undissolved sugar granule or *any* impurity inside your bottle can act as a nucleation site and begin the crystallization process. This impurity could be a crystal formed on the cap or lid over time that gets knocked into the solution or introduced by a bar spoon or other utensil (the higher the concentration, the more sensitive it is).
Try warming the water until *all* the sugar dissolves and then boil for 5 minutes. Transfer to a scrupulously clean and sterile bottle and refrigerate.
And, just to be safe, check the volume of your syrup. 1 cup of sugar dissolved in 1 cup of water should give you roughly 1 2/3 cups of syrup to start, 1 1/3 cups after boiling.
Umm... wasn't refrigerated... vessel was scrupulously clean (had just been boiled itself) but, I had used some of the syrup (simply pouring out of the vessel). No bar spoons or other utensils inserted. Shouldn't have introduced any impurities, but you never know... interestingly, the articles I read on-line indicated that 2:1 would be more stable than 1:1... didn't check volume, but hey -- next time, right? ;)
Considering that I've always had crystalization problems (usually takes a week or two to truly get going), I'm thinking I'll try one of the on-line suggestions for a touch of honey and see if that makes any difference.
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