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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Simple syrup or superfine sugar?
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Simple syrup or superfine sugar?
rlummis
Member

Joined: Jan 27, 2006
Posts: 1
From: Texas/Canada/Australia
Posted: 2006-01-27 5:04 pm   Permalink

Technically, gomme syrup is simple syrup with gum arabic and/or glycerin added to give a more viscous mouth feel. Most people would use simple syrup as a substitute.

 
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Chief Lapu Lapu
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 16, 2004
Posts: 40
From: The Room of the Gods, Maine
Posted: 2006-01-28 03:42 am   Permalink

I'd use what the recipe calls for. I've seen some call for regular and powdered sugar but most "tiki" drinks call for simple syrup. So easy to make and keeps for such a long time that there is no reason not to have some in your fridge right now. I use natural (Florida Crystals) sugar and use 1 part sugar to 1 part water. Heat and stir until boiling and dissolved then take it off the heat. If you boil it too long it will crystallize on you like rock candy. Then I add a drop or two of pure vanilla extract. Just a drop or two though, you only want a "hint" of vanilla. When it is cool enough I pour it off into a clean empty rum bottle. Better than a mason jar because it is easy to pour from. That's it.
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-01-28 10:13 am   Permalink

Thanks for all the input. So far, from what I've heard, it seems the recipe for simple syrup varies a lot: 2 parts sugar and 1 part water, or 1 part syrup to 1 part water, and some use vanilla, some don't. And the stuff you can buy probably tastes different from homemade syrup.

It seems to me that this variation would change the flavor (sweetness) of a drink quite a bit.

On the other hand, superfine sugar is superfine sugar. If the exact amount is used that is called for, and the other ingredients (especially lime and lemon juices) are measured accurately, then the drink will always come out the same every time you make it. Furthermore, many old cocktail books specify granulated (superfine or bar) sugar in the recipes.

I still have 2 questions that haven't been answered:

1. Is there any good reason not to use superfine sugar? So far the only reason I can see is that it's more expensive than regular sugar. Alton Brown's advice seems to solve that problem, but it involves some more effort and cleanup, which is one reason why I use superfine sugar in the first place (less work than making syrup - yes, I'm that lazy).

2. Is there any standard measuring ratio that can be applied when using superfine sugar in a drink that calls for syrup? For example, if the Grog Log calls for a teaspoon of simple syrup, how much superfine sugar would be used? My guess is that if the standard syrup recipe is 2 parts sugar to 1 part water, than a tablespoon of syrup is 2 teaspoons of sugar plus one teaspoon of water, so the equivalent of superfine sugar is 2/3 of the amount the recipe calls for. That makes it fairly hard to substitute, but using a smidgeon less may be good enough. The Esquire Drinks book says to use 2 parts simple syrup when substituting for sugar, so it seems somwhere between 1/2 and 2/3 is a good rule of thumb.

I've never had a problem getting superfine sugar to dissolve, but just in case I often put the lime or lemon juice in the shaker first, followed by the sugar so a few stirs dissolves the sugar, then the rest of the ingredients, with the liquor in last (so if you screw up measuring the other ingredents you won't have to dump out good expensive booze). Finally, I add the ice after all the ingredients are in the shaker.


 
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Chief Lapu Lapu
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 16, 2004
Posts: 40
From: The Room of the Gods, Maine
Posted: 2006-01-29 03:52 am   Permalink

You're on a road that I have never traveled so lead on. Sure I've used brown sugar dissolved in lemon or lime juice that some recipes call for, but I've never ventured further. So go forth in this undiscovered country in which no one has returned… but please do return and tell us what you find. Sounds like you’re on the right track with the “dissolve in juice first” technique since this works fine with something as coarse as brown sugar. As far as making up for the lost water? I’d try a side by side, maybe you don’t need it. Either way, drink recipe experiments are always fun… wish I could be on your panel of judges.
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captnkirk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 06, 2002
Posts: 322
From: Hockessin, Delaware
Posted: 2006-01-29 1:35 pm   Permalink

From what I understand, simple syrup is 1 part sugar to 1 part water and rock candy syrup is 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. I also under stand rock candy is an exact substitute for granulated sugar. add one tablespoon sugar, or you can add one tablespoon of rock candy syrup and add the same sweetness but it dissolves faster.

[ This Message was edited by: captnkirk 2006-01-29 13:36 ]


 
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KuKuAhu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 23, 2002
Posts: 567
From: Kahiki, Ohio
Posted: 2006-01-30 3:20 pm   Permalink

Ah... I love threads like these, and I just have to weigh in (pun intended).

Jab, it seems to me that the simple/gomme/rock candy syrup recipe varies all over the place, which makes it difficult at best to find your equivalency.

Personally, I have always followed a weight measured vs. cups recipe. In other words, 2 lbs of sugar to one cup of water. This is the only recipe I know of for simple syrup, and it is the one I have always followed. It also works flawlessly every time. It is standard in many of my old bartending books.

Now in that case, we can get a ratio based on the weight if we measure the liquid the recipe creates. I have yet to measure it though, but you could make a batch and see. You know you have 2 lbs of sugar in the solution, so all you'd need to do is find out how many ounces of liquid the recipe makes. This would give you a "sugar by weight per ounce of liquid" measurement to use for making drinks with super fine sugar.

Just be sure to measure your superfine by weight as well before you make the conversion to liquid measure like tablespoons or whatever. The reason being that superfine will compact due to it's smaller particle size, and one Tbs of superfine would contain more sugar by weight than granulated sugar would.

Dig?



Ahu



 
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aikiman44
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 08, 2004
Posts: 281
From: NY
Posted: 2006-01-30 4:21 pm   Permalink

But does anybody substitute Sblenda for sugar for making simple syrup?

 
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captnkirk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 06, 2002
Posts: 322
From: Hockessin, Delaware
Posted: 2006-01-30 5:22 pm   Permalink

They advertise it measures like sugar, (use a cup of Splenda instead of a cup of sugar). If it dissolves in boiling water and stays dissolved when cool I can't see why not use Splenda syrup in drinks.

That said, I can't see the point in trying to save a few sugar calories, considering the booze you add has over 100 calories a shot. It's like ordering a triple fudge sunday with a diet soda for desert.


 
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KuKuAhu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 23, 2002
Posts: 567
From: Kahiki, Ohio
Posted: 2006-01-31 09:35 am   Permalink

Ah... I also just wanted to add:

There is nothing wrong with water in a drink. In fact it is absolutely essential in many cocktails. The assumption that adding water is bad is... wrong.

So uh... yeah.



Ahu


 
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KuKuAhu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 23, 2002
Posts: 567
From: Kahiki, Ohio
Posted: 2006-01-31 09:39 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-01-30 17:22, captnkirk wrote:

That said, I can't see the point in trying to save a few sugar calories, considering the booze you add has over 100 calories a shot. It's like ordering a triple fudge sunday with a diet soda for desert.



Unless your patron is diabetic. In which case saving sugar calories could mean the difference between them enjoying one cocktail with the group, or sipping club soda.

I've never used Splenda, but a mojito made with it for instance would be very low in sugar.



Ahu



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