Basic Infused Simple Syrup and Scented Sugar

February 1, 2021marissamakes

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Serves:

One of my favorite ways to incorporate floral flavors into my bakes and drinks is with infused simple syrups and scented sugars. It’s such a wonderful way to elevate your flavors without overpowering the final product. Not only are they beautiful to make and attractive on a countertop, but they’re extremely easy to make.

I LOVE floral flavors. I’m always trying to find ways to incorporate them into my bakes, and even drinks!

It really is simple

Making simple syrup really is as easy as the name suggests: all you need is a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water, and a tablespoon or two of your desired flavoring. Bring the sugar and water to a light boil, and add your flavor or fresh herb. Turn off the heat, allow to steep for 30 minutes, and DONE! You now have a fancy syrup to use however you like!

Some of my favorite syrup flavors are lavender and peppermint (if you love peppermint mochas, you definitely need to make peppermint syrup!). You can also experiment with the type of sugar. Demerara sugar makes a really rich syrup with molasses notes that works fantastically in cocktails. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

What kind of flowers?

Whether you are making infused syrup, or scented sugar, it’s very important that you use flowers that are safe to eat. I don’t just mean safe as in not poisonous– make sure your flowers are not sprayed with any pesticides or chemicals, since that will also infuse into the syrup. No thanks!! This is especially important with roses, because commercial roses are often heavily sprayed before they are sold. If you have any doubts about whether or not its safe to eat your flowers, be sure to ask the merchant, or someone familiar with the provenance of the plant! This is a good excuse to start growing your own edible flowers, if you have the space for it.

Here are some herbs and flowers I recommend for using in your syrups or sugar:

  • Lavender
  • Roses
  • Mint (peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint, etc. So many possibilities!)
  • Geranium
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Extracts (vanilla, peppermint, orange blossom, almond, etc.)

Sugar and spice

There are a few different ways you can make your scented sugar. The first, and easiest, is to simply combine the sugar and your fresh herbs or flowers in an airtight glass jar, and store it in a cool dry place for a week or two. This will allow the flavors to really infuse. You can also infuse your sugar with teas, such as earl grey– simply open a tea bag and pulse a few times in a grinder until very fine before combining with your sugar.

If you’re a bit short on time, you can use a mortar and pestle to quickly extract the flavors of your fresh herbs before mixing with your sugar. I find that the flavor of the sugar tends to fade faster when made this way, so bear that in mind when trying to decide on a method. Use sugar made with this method within a week or so for best flavor.

Jack of all trades

Now you know how to make infused simple syrups and sugars; so what do you do with them?

Answer: ANYTHING!

Try using simple syrups and infused sugars to flavor your favorite beverages, and cocktails. Sprinkle some scented sugar on top of your bakes for a special touch, or use your infused syrups for drizzle cakes. The possibilities are truly endless.

I hope this de-mystifies simple syrups and scented sugars! I can’t wait to see what flavoring ideas you come up with– be sure to leave me a comment below, and tag me on instagram so I can see what you make!

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 15 minutes

Infused simple syrups and sugars are a wonderful way to incorporate delicate floral and herbal flavors without overpowering the final product. Try them in your baking and drinks!

Ingredients

Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-2 tbs desired flavoring, see recipe notes

Scented Sugar

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1-2 tbs edible flowers or dried herbs, see recipe notes

Method

Simple Syrup Method

  • 1)

    In a medium sauce pan, bring the water and sugar to a boil until the sugar is dissolved.

  • 2)

    Remove from heat and stir in desired flavor extract, fresh herb, or dried flower. Allow to steep for at least 30 minutes, or longer for a stronger flavor.

  • 3)

    Strain the syrup if using flowers or herbs, and store in a sterile, airtight container in the fridge for up to one month.

Scented Sugar Method

  • 1)

    In a lidded container, preferably glass, combine fresh herbs with the sugar, lightly crushing the hers to release the oils before combining.

  • 2)

    Mix well and let sit for about 2 weeks in a cool, dry place to allow the flavor of the flowers to fully infuse with the sugar.

  • 3)

    Alternatively, combine the sugar and herbs in a mortar and pestle for a quicker infusion of flavor.

Notes

Flavoring ideas for infused simple syrups:

  • A handful of fresh herbs or edible flowers, such as roses, geranium, lemon verbena or mint.
  • Dried edible flower buds, such as culinary lavender, or chamomile.
  • Your favorite flavored extract, such as vanilla, peppermint, lemon, or orange blossom.

If using extract, start with 1 tablespoon, and taste before adding more. Extracts add a strong flavor very quickly, so it’s better to go slow.

If you are using flowers, make sure they are COMPLETELY free of any pesticides! Make sure they are marketed as being edible flowers if you are not using flowers that you have grown yourself.

This recipe can easily be scaled up or down, using a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water.

If using the mortar and pestle method for the sugar, please note that the flavor tends to fade more quickly than the infusion method, so plan to use your sugar within 1 week for best results.

2 Comments

  • Jo

    November 18, 2023 at 6:31 am

    Hi I really love your recipes here. I noticed you said that it is best to use the sugars soon to ensure they taste best. But if I was using dried lavender, for example, could it last for 1 month?

    1. marissamakes

      November 22, 2023 at 1:14 pm

      Yes, using dried spices will increase shelf life! Just store in a cool and dry place 🙂

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