Friday, August 13, 2010

Stocking the Bar - A Touch of Sweetness.

Many cocktails benefit from a touch of sweetness. Added sugar can take the edge off of sour citrus or strong flavours and turns your concoction into a sweet treat.
But you can't add regular sugar to your cold drinks, it won't dissolve properly and you will be left with a grainy drink. Not that I wouldn't drink it if you offered it to me... but there are ways around it so that you can have a smooth, sweet sensation.

Superfine sugar, also sold as fructose, is finer than regular sugar and can dissolve into cold drinks easily - you can buy it or make it yourself in small batches in your blender. Only a little at a time, you don't want to stress out your motor or miss any. Keep a jar of superfine sugar in your bar and a measuring spoon.

Another great way to add sweetness to your cocktails is with simple syrup. It is easy to make at home - use one cup of white sugar and one cup of water, simmer until dissolved, cool and keep in a sealed jar in the bar fridge.
But why stop there? If you can make simple syrup, you can make infused simple syrups. Throw some cinnamon sticks in there, or cinnamon hearts, or sliced fresh ginger, cardamom pods or orange peels. Let the sugar and water and added flavouring agent of choice simmer on low together for 10 minutes and let cool. Then strain and keep in a sealed jar in your bar fridge.
While plain simple syrup will last for months, flavoured ones should be used up within a couple of weeks. A spoonful of your simple syrup, plain or infused, will add a lovely soft sweetness to your drinks.

You can also use sugars of all sorts, including coloured sugars, for rimming the glass of your sweet cocktail. Just wet the rim with water, citrus, or even some of the alcohol that you are using in the cocktail, and dip it into the sugar of choice. Pretty!

Other sweeteners can be used, like maple syrup or agave nectar. Honey may be a bit of a challenge as it tends to harden in contact with ice - save it for the hot drinks or use it as a garnish.

And speaking of garnishes - why not use a sweet stir stick? Coloured sugar crystal sticks are fun and pretty...
Or, if you are lucky, you might find some natural sugar cane stir sticks.

And why not a lolly-pop in your cocktail? This fun addition was suggested by my friend Kim, who is always up for a sweet concoction!

♪ ♫ Sugar, ah honey honey
You are my candy girl ♪ ♫

I hope I have helped make your bar and your life a little sweeter today. Cheers!

Photos from Google Images

1 comment:

Kim said...

I love all those ideas for sweetening up cocktails! There are so many possibilities when it comes to flavoring up simple syrup. The rock candy and honey sticks are really neat. Thanks for the linky love!