Cocktails With Kate: 4 Drinks Made with Homemade Simple Syrup


As restaurants begin to reopen, we thought it would be helpful to host a Cocktails with Kate where we highlight four different drinks for each stage of the reopening process, all made with homemade simple syrup and other inexpensive ingredients.

Tripleseat’s hotel onboarding specialist, James DeFayette, joined me on this month’s Facebook Live and shared four easy drink recipes for the summer. The base of all the drinks is simple syrup, which is easily made by boiling 50/50 measurements of sugar and water until you have a smooth mixture.

James taught us how to use your homemade simple syrup to create a light and refreshing sour mix. Simply combine 50/50 measurements of your simple syrup and fresh lemon juice. Finally, from that sour mix, James showed us how to make homemade lemonade. Just combine 50/50 measurements once again but this time with your homemade sour mix and water. Here are the recipes for all four drinks and how you can serve them to your customers.

1. Strawberry Margarita

  • 2 oz of silver tequila
  • 1 oz homemade simple syrup
  • 2 slices of lemon
  • 2 strawberries
  • Dash of soda water
  • Fresh lemon and strawberry slices for garnish

Muddle your lemon slices, strawberries, and simple syrup. Add tequila and shake. Strain mixture over a rocks glass filled with ice and top with soda water. Garnish with fresh lemon and strawberry slices. This drink is perfect for when your restaurant is ready for in-house dining. The ingredients are simple and won’t break your budget.

2. Berry Bourbon Smash

  • 2 oz of bourbon
  • 2 oz homemade sour mix
  • 4 berries of your choice (we like half raspberries and half blackberries)

Muddle your berries. Add bourbon, and homemade sour mix, and dry shake. This drink is perfect for to-go drinks. You can pour the mixture into a mason jar and sell this cocktail to go. All your customers will have to do is add ice. Of course, this will only work in states where to-go liquor is permitted.

3. Shandy

  • Homemade lemonade
  • Beer of your choice (we prefer summer ales or IPAs)

This is the perfect option for to-go drinks in most states. You can pour your homemade lemonade in a fun large mason jar or other container and send your customers home with that and a six-pack of beer of their choice. They’ll just have to combine the two when they get home. Shandys can be made with as much (or as little) lemonade as you want so it’s an easy recipe for customers to customize as they like.

4. Arnold Palmer or John Daly

  • Homemade lemonade
  • Iced tea
  • Vodka or bourbon for a John Daly

This cocktail is great for to-go kits or batching if you’re open for in-house dining. You can easily combine equal parts of your homemade lemonade with iced tea to create a delicious Arnold Palmer. From there if you’re serving in-house you can add vodka or bourbon as your customers order them. For to-go kits you can offer just the Arnold Palmer or, if your state allows it, mix with the spirit of your customer’s choice and pack it up for them to enjoy at home.

In case you missed it live, watch James make all of these delicious drinks on the latest episode of Cocktails with Kate below.


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