Bar simple syrup

The secret to making a good margarita is using good lime juice. Preferably fresh squeezed. Or at least a good lime juice, preferably frozen, though a good 100 % juice in a jar without preservatives will do in a pinch.

"Real Lime" does not qualify, by the way. Nor does Rose's Lime Juice.

And, of course, good tequila. I like Sauza Horintos, myself, of the affordable tequilas, for a margarita.

But you can't overlook the sweetener, either. A well prepared bar simple syrup is the key to getting just the right balance of sweet and sour.

I make it at a ratio of 1:1, that is to say, equal weights of sugar and water.

As it turns out, 12 oz. by weight of sugar is actually only a little more than 12 fl. oz. if you pour it into a Pyrex measuring cup, so you probably could just fake it if you don't have a scale.

simplesyrup1.jpgAdd 12 oz. of water (which is also 12 fl. oz., because that's the way water works, at least at sea level) in a saucepan, stirring frequently.

First you won't hear the granules of sugar rubbing the bottom of the pan, then wisps of clear will appear.

Then the whole thing will turn transparent. Remove from the heat. This is all before it boils.

Bakers sometimes use a different variation of simple syrup that's reduced (often by 50 %), but that's not really helpful behind the bar. It's too viscous and clogs up the speed pour.

Note that even though you added 12 fl. oz. water and 12 oz. of sugar you'll only end up with a little more than 16 fl. oz. of simple syrup because the sugar dissolves into the water.


Simple syrup will keep for months in the refrigerator in a sealed container.

Also, there is an alternative: superfine sugar. Note that this is not confectioner's sugar which is a completely different, powdery, thing. Sometimes superfine sugar is called bar sugar. It dissolves much more easily than regular granulated sugar, but I still prefer the pre-dissolved simple syrup.