Culinary Chronicles Summer Drink Series: Mint Simple Syrup

When temperatures get into the hundreds (yes, Baltimore is that hot) even the most refreshing drink can't make me sit outside. Instead, I'm watching a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills marathon and flipping through Bon Appetit magazine. In their June issue, they feature a "Summer Cooking Manifesto" containing 21 laws, with #18 being "simple syrup is liquid gold." I absolutely, 100% agree with that statement and always keep a jar of it around the house. It can be added to anything -- drinks, sorbet, ice pops -- and it's incredibly easy to make. This summer I started making it with mint, and now it doesn't just add sweetness, it adds a boost in flavor, too!

Simple syrup can be kept for two weeks, so make it now and check back next week for summer drinks, part 3 for great ways to use your new simple syrup!

Ingredients

-1 mason jar

-1  1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

-1  1/2 cup water

-1  1/2 cup sugar

Preparation

1. Heat the water over medium heat.

2. Add the sugar and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.

3. Remove from heat and add the mint, let steep for 30 minutes to an hour (Make sure to cut off all the stems and brown parts before adding the mint leaves).

4.   Strain to remove mint leaves and pour into the jar.

5. Keep the simple syrup in the fridge, keeps for 2 weeks.