Zero Review: Basic Syrups

The first two recipes in Zero aren’t particularly exciting, I’ll agree, but they are important. Offered are two syrups – simple syrup and demerara syrup – you can use in cocktails but also coffee and tea, especially the iced versions.

I won’t repeat what Mental Floss explained better in this post about what makes simple syrup simple. What I like best about it is that it’s so easy to make – heat up water, add sugar, stir to blend. Before you can make many of the drinks in the book, you’ll need simple syrup so you may as well whip up a batch and put it in the fridge to use later.

Quick tip: Label everything you have in a container in your fridge that’s not in its original packaging. Use painter’s tape.

We have three jars of what look like the same thing but one is sweet, one spicy, and one is bacon fat. Pigment doesn’t wear off painter’s tape, it’s easy to write on with a Sharpie or normal pen, and it pulls off easily without leaving residue. Just make sure you don’t buy the dark blue kind as it’s hard to read.

Recipe Grades

To see the grades of all recipes reviewed so far, open the Google Sheets here.

Simple Syrup

  • Equipment: Bowl, spoon, kitchen scale – A
  • Ingredients: Sugar, water – A
  • Technique: Weighing ingredients, stirring – A+
  • Sounds Good: It’s sugar melted into water, who wouldn’t like that? Okay, that person who decided to use the quarantine to give up sugar. – A
  • Overall: A

Demerara Syrup

  • Equipment: saucepan, spoon, kitchen scale – A
  • Ingredients: demerara sugar (a bigger basic grocery store would have it but you may have to shop around), water – B
  • Technique: weighing ingredients, boiling water, stirring – A+
  • Sounds Good: Again, it’s sugar syrup – A
  • Overall: B+

Later this week: Getting started with the Back Bar

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