Making Sugar Syrups

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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Confectioners, bakers, and even mixologists use a wide variety of sugar syrups in their respective crafts. The sugar and water solution varies in concentration, depending on the use. Bartenders often use a “simple syrup” of one part sugar and one part water to flavor drinks. On the other hand, to make an Italian meringue or classic French buttercream, most of the water is boiled away to form a supersaturated sugar solution. As the density increases, the temperature of the solution rises. Confectioners can gauge the concentration by the temperature. Concentration can also be measured by density using a saccharimeter or the Baumé sugar weight scale. See saccharimeter and stages of sugar syrup.