Simple syrup is an essential ingredient in numerous cocktails. Simply put, it is sugar and water. The sugar is super-saturated by heating the water.
Simple syrup is often used to offset the tart taste of many drinks to make a more balanced mixture. For example, in a Whiskey Sour, simple syrup is added to lemon juice to make flavorful mix.
There is a store-bought mix called Sweet and Sour Mix, but with this you can't control the balance of your cocktails properly. For some drinks you want more sweet than sour and visa versa. So make your own.
The process is pretty easy.
Combine 1 part water and 1 part sugar in a saucepan. Heat and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil for two minutes. Take off the heat and store in a plastic or glass container at room temperature.
This mixture will last about 2 months. If you want to extend that period, you can add 2 ozs of Vodka per pint of simple syrup to the recipe.
Simple Syrup works great in an Old-Fashioned and many other classic cocktails. Give it a try.