Making Simple Syrups Using Tea

As a Tea Sommelier, I'm all about the many ways to enjoy tea inside and outside of the cup. Tea-infused simple syrups take minutes to make and can liven up a cocktail, soda or tonic water. They can add a tasty twist to baked goods, even salad dressings or plain yogurt. While Simple Syrups pack a ton of sugar, you're using only a bit at a time and most important, you know what's in it. 

Scented teas and herbals make the tastiest simple syrups. The added botanicals, florals or herbs carry a ton of flavour. Over-steeping the tea or herbal helps to amplify these tastes as the tea transitions from a liquid to a syrup. Simple Syrups are used in bars and restaurants all the time. You can just as easily make them at home.Three simple syrups - organic lavender sencha, cream of earl grey and organic elderberry hibiscusLeft to right: Organic Lavender Sencha, Cream of Earl Grey, Organic Elderberry Hibiscus Simple Syrups

We whipped up three different simple syrups in just 15 minutes. Organic Lavender Sencha creates a simple syrup that showcases lavender, strawberry and mint. Cream of Earl Grey syrup is a sensuously rich mix of citrus and bergamot. Organic Elderberry Hibiscus takes its sweet-tart flavour punch to a whole new level. 

But enough talk. Here’s a no-fail recipe to make tea-infused simple syrup at home. It works best for scented teas and herbals, and the recipe is so easy that you can make a few syrups at a time, experimenting with different teas. Again it's a ton of sugar, but you're only ever using a touch.   

Ingredients: (To make one cup. (If you’re making half a cup of simple syrup, use three bags (tsp) of tea.)

• 5 tsp (teabags) of tea
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup granulated sugar (try other sugars too, but sugar substitutes will not work)
• Heat water to temperature suggested for the tea.
• Place 5 tsps or bags of tea into a small saucepan.
• Add heated water and let steep for 5 minutes (applies to all teas regardless of type – you’re extracting flavour).
• Remove tea and discard. Heat saucepan with tea to medium high.
• As tea heats add sugar and stir until fully dissolved. If you think tea is going to boil, take off stove and continue stirring.
• Let simple syrup cool and place into a bottle. An inexpensive squeeze bottle is perfect. Tea simple syrups will keep in the fridge for about a month.