The Temperature Rule To Remember When Adding Simple Syrup To Iced Tea

glasses of iced tea with lemon
glasses of iced tea with lemon - Bhofack2/Getty Images

When the weather's so hot that the first thing you reach for is a glass of iced tea, you'd better make sure it's sweet enough to hit the spot. Your go-to sweeteners may be sugar or your best honey variety for tea, but their tendency to sit idle in iced tea renders them as useful as a chocolate teapot. But we don't recommend closing the lid on your sugar jar just yet. Instead, turn it — or honey — into a simple syrup that will sweeten iced tea without so much as a stir.

It's not that table sugar or honey won't dissolve in iced tea; they will take longer than anticipated, making you wish you'd settled for the hot stuff even in thermometer-topping heat. The lower temperature of iced tea subjects these sweeteners to slow-moving molecules that just don't have sufficient energy to act on the sugar molecules rapidly. Thus introducing some heat to sugar and honey is an effective and quick remedy. To make simple syrup, you assemble a solution of equal parts sugar or honey and water in a saucepan and introduce heat to the mixture until it boils. It's similar to our tip for making sure all the sugar dissolves in your lemonade. This five-minute solution requires you only to stir it hot until the sugar dissolves completely, and once the mixture has cooled, your simple syrup is ready to add to iced tea.

Read more: 18 Boba Flavors, Ranked Worst To Best

An Alternative Way To Make Simple Syrup For Iced Tea

homemade simple syrup in bottle
homemade simple syrup in bottle - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

When making simple syrup, the more rapid movement of hot water molecules is a prerequisite for table sugar and honey dissolving quickly, but it's not the only formula. This little trick from our no heat, no fuss simple syrup recipe offers an alternative solution: shake the mixture in a bottle. That's right. You don't have to weather even more heat in hot weather by standing next to a stovetop; just add sugar or honey and water to a bottle and shake it vigorously for 20 seconds. Repeat this step every 15 minutes for an hour and the sugar should have dissolved completely. Due to there being little to no evaporation, you'll find that this solution may be less sweet than that made by heating the mixture on a stovetop — but it's perfect for toning down the sugariness in your iced tea.

Otherwise, take out a spoon and give your iced tea a good stir with sugar or honey. By stirring, you encourage more sugar particles to be in contact with water, hence distributing them more evenly and encouraging them to dissolve faster. It's a simple enough solution when you don't want any heat or vigorous action to take place. That said, the rule of adding heat not only ensures that your sugar or honey dissolves quicker, but that more of it dissolves so that you'll perceive a sweeter iced tea that hits the spot.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.