Start to Finish: 30 minutesServings: 10 to 12Difficulty: Beginner
Simple syrup is, quite simply, a combination of equal parts sugar and water. Used primarily to sweeten nonalcoholic drinks or cocktails, simple syrup is a versatile sweetener. It can be used to sweeten a fruit salad, or to make sorbet or candied fruit, or you can even brush it over a freshly baked cake to keep it moist and delicious. Fruit-flavored syrups, like this mango-infused option, take any simple syrup to the next level, ensuring you'll never run out of ways to enjoy it.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup pureed mango
You can puree your own mango using a blender or food processor. Don't have the extra time? The soda and nonalcoholic mixers aisle of most grocery stores carry mango puree for a quick and easy alternative.
- Add water, sugar and pureed mango to a small saucepan on medium-high heat.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. You want the syrup to be at a rolling boil, not a light boil, so it will thicken as it simmers and cools.
- Turn the heat to low and let the syrup simmer for 2 minutes. Stir constantly at this point, making certain to thoroughly dissolve the sugar.
- Allow the mango-infused simple syrup to cool completely.
- Pour the syrup into a bottle or jar and refrigerate until you're ready to use it.
The mango syrup will be thick due to the puree. If you prefer a thinner syrup, pour the cooled syrup through a fine mesh sieve. This will leave the remaining mango pulp behind, leaving you with a thin, easily mixable mango simple syrup.
Mango is only the beginning of fruit-infused simple syrups. Experiment with other flavors, using the same ratio of sugar, water and fruit puree. You can also substitute half the mango puree with another fruit puree for combination simple syrups like strawberry-mango, mango-lime or pineapple-mango.
An alternative method to infusing simple syrup is to make up a batch of syrup, then add puree or fresh mango and let the flavors steep together. This variation is more time-consuming and often popular with herbal infusions, but worth experimenting with to see which style you prefer.
The mango-infused simple syrup will keep for 10 to 14 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. If you want to make larger batches of mango simple syrup -- or another variety -- and store it for later, you can freeze simple syrup for up to a year. Try freezing in half-full ice cube trays for serving size amounts, perfect for whipping up an individual treat.