simple syrups summer drinks

My husband and I are at a new stage in our lives.  With the twins off leading their own lives and my hubby no longer doing triathlons, we have a lot more time to play.  So, what are we doing you ask…We decided to learn how to make simple syrups and of course, Sunday afternoon drinks.  Great fun AND great practice for our next party!

Perfecting the art of simple syrups can help turn you into the perfect hostess.  Your friends and family will be amazed at your newly learned skill.  We began with two simple syrups and lots of fruit juices, vodka, and gin.  Please use the recipes below as an inspiration to create what you like.

simple syrups and summer drink recipes


Of note:  We use only honey and raw sugar in our house, so the cooking process takes a bit longer and the simple syrup is a light brown color.

In a small pot add:

  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Simmer over low heat until all the sugar is dissolved.
  • You can add any flavoring you would like to this, depending on what you are making.


  • Use the basic recipe above and add
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • Allow to simmer an additional 3-5 minutes after the sugar dissolves

ginger simple syrups

Now for what we mixed…

Disclaimer and warning:  We are not professionals, just a empty nest couple making what we want. So how we pour is how we like it and what suits our tastes best. We also taste as we go, making changes along the way…

Both drinks were made in large glasses with crushed ice.  We then used another large glass and poured back and forth as our shaker.  If you have a real shaker, feel free to use that.  Then, we liked them so much that we made more in small pitchers.  We are also regular juicers, so we used the fresh juices we had on hand.



  • 1/4 seedless watermelon smashed in a large bowl
  • Handful of fresh mint
  • 2 shots vodka, I like Titos
  • 1 shot fresh lime juice
  • 2 shots simple syrup (this will depend on how sweet you like your drinks – I like mine sweet)


  • Smooch (fancy people say muddle) mint in the bottom of the glass with a wooden spoon
  • Add vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup
  • Fill the rest of the glass with the watermelon juice
  • Add crushed ice, shake, and drink away

watermelon suntan and ginger simple syrups



  • 2 shots gin
  • 2 shots lemon juice
  • 1 shot ginger pepper simple syrup
  • Ginger ale


  • In glass, add gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup
  • Add crushed ice and shake
  • Fill the glass with ginger ale, stir, and enjoy

This past weekend I used mango instead of watermelon, yum!