Learn how to make simple syrup and you’ll always have homemade simple syrup on hand for flavoring drinks or baked goods. This syrup is even great in homemade marinades. It’s a fun treat to keep in the pantry!
When it’s citrus season, we’re always looking for more ways to use up the glut of tangerines and oranges. I wondered if I’d use homemade simple syrup made with our tangerine abundance. (I’m famous for going all gung-ho and canning a bunch of stuff that seems like a good idea, but in retrospect is just not something my family will eat – hello, mint jelly!) But it turns out there are a number of ways to use it.
I adapted this recipe from one found at Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking where she offers a number of suggestions for using this flavorful syrup. Once I started thinking, I came up with even more.
How to use your homemade simple syrup:
- Add it to sparkling water for a citrus-y soda
- Make a marinade
- Sweeten granola
- Stir some into salad dressing (this would be especially good in an Asian sesame dressing)
- Mix into sugar cookie dough in place of vanilla
How could I pass up the opportunity to learn how to make simple syrup from my tangerine juice?
How to make simple syrup
What’s great about this recipe is that it can work with any fresh juice you have in abundance. In fact, in some cases you can make it with no juice at all, as in the case of this homemade ginger syrup.
This recipe is really very easy to make. Fill upcycled bottles or jars with syrup and store in the refrigerator for a couple of months, or can it for a longer shelf life.
If you want to preserve this homemade simple syrup so that it’s shelf stable, you’ll need to process it in a water bath canner.
Use pint or half-pint jars meant for canning. For this small batch, I processed the pint-sized jars in my stock pot, rather than heating up my big canner.
A less sweet syrup
Note: Hip girl suggests using three cups of tangerine juice, or up to four to five cups juice for a slightly less sweet, more zingy syrup. I first used four cups of juice and my kids both thought the syrup was too sweet. Even when we added some to a glass of sparkling water, they felt like the sugar overpowered the juice flavor. Using five or even six cups of juice makes a less sweet syrup.
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Homemade Simple Syrup
This simple syrup recipe calls for tangerine or orange juice, but you can substitute just about any fresh juice to make different flavors.
- 6 cups granulated organic cane sugar
- 3 cups water
- 5-6 cups tangerine juice
How to make simple syrup
Combine the sugar and water in a heavy stock pot and cook over low heat until sugar dissolves.
Raise heat to medium and bring syrup to a boil.
Once the liquid boils, reduce heat and maintain the liquid at a simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.
When the syrup begins to bubble steadily, add the tangerine juice.
Remove pot from heat and ladle syrup into jars.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to three months, or process as follows.
Canning your homemade syrup
Ladle hot syrup into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space.
Wipe rims with a damp cloth (to assure a good seal), screw sterilized lids on, and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
This recipe is adapted from one on the Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking site. She suggests using three cups of tangerine juice, or up to four to five cups juice for a slightly less sweet, more zingy syrup. I first used four cups of juice and my kids both thought the syrup was too sweet. Even when we added some to a glass of Perrier, they felt like the sugar overpowered the juice flavor. Using five or even six cups of juice makes a less sweet syrup.