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Simple syrup is an essential ingredient in crafting everyday cocktails, but it’s often an ingredient that is overlooked as something that can easily be crafted at home.

Beyond traditional simple syrup, the world of homemade syrup includes fruit, herb, spiced syrups and more. To help readers navigate how to create their own sweet combinations, Pinnacle® Vodka joined forces with Spike TV’s Bar Rescue Mixology Expert, Mia Mastroianni to offer a few tips and tricks to create flavored simple syrups with ingredients already found in the kitchen.

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  1. Choose your Sweetener – Different sugars will yield different syrups, so it’s important to take that into consideration. The most commonly used sugars behind the bar are white sugar, brown sugar, agave nectar and maple syrup. These sugars can be made into simple syrups following the basic simple syrup recipe of a one-to-one ratio of sugar and water, stirred gently over heat
  2. Fresh Picked Herbs – Making herbed simple syrup is an easy way to add a fresh, aromatic layer to cocktails using just three ingredients– water, sugar and fresh herbs.. Start with a basic simple syrup recipe and add your herb of choice. Herbs such as mint, rosemary, basil, fennel, lemongrass, sage, tarragon, thyme, or lavender are perfect for simple syrups. Simmer for about a minute then remove from heat and let the herbs steep for about 30 minutes as the syrup cools. Once cooled, strain through a mesh strainer into a glass bottle or jar. Refrigerate up to a month
  3. Jazz up Syrups with Fresh Fruits Using fresh fruit is another way to enhance simple syrups. The best fruits for simple syrups are blueberries, blackberries, cherries, lemons, limes, peaches and raspberries. Start with the basic simple syrup recipe and then add about one and a half cups of preferred fruit. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Allow to cool fully and then store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks
  4. Get Creative with Morning Cups of Tea When making tea in the morning; consider going a step further and also creating tea-infused simple syrup. Infusing syrup with tea is a great way to add a level of sophistication to any cocktail. Earl grey, English breakfast, chamomile, chai, rooibos and matcha all work perfectly for infusions. Again, use the basic simple syrup recipe, but add four teabags or four tablespoons of loose leaf tea. Remove from heat and allow to steep for at least 10 minutes. Strain and let the concoction cool fully and refrigerate
  5. Spice things up! Syrups infused with spices can add another layer of depth to cocktails. Simply simmer preferred spices, such as cardamom, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, star anise, or peppercorns, along with the basic simple syrup recipe. Remove from heat and allow steeping for about 20 minutes. Strain, cool and store in a clean glass jar in the refrigerator

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Keep these tips in mind when crafting your own special simple syrup to use with Mia’s homemade cocktail of choice, the Pinnacle® Vodka Collins.

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Pinnacle® Vodka Collins

  • 2 parts Pinnacle® Original Vodka
  • ¾ parts fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ parts simple syrup
  • Soda Water
  • Lemon wedge for garnish

Preparation: Add all ingredients except soda water to a mixing glass. Shake and strain into a Collins Glass over fresh ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a lemon wedge.