Simple syrup is used to sweeten lots of different drinks, and it is handy to have on hand in the refrigerator when you need it. Yes, I know that you shouldn’t really need a recipe for simple syrup, but here it is anyway.
The ratio of water to sugar is 1:1 – e.g. if you are using two cups of water, then you will use two cups of sugar. Bring the water to a rolling boil, and then add in your sugar. Stir constantly until it is back at a rolling boil and all of the sugar is completely dissolved. Take it off the heat, and cool as noted below.
Good old refined white sugar is fine, but I usually use turbinado sugar (aka “Sugar in the Raw”) that has not been fully refined. It has a little bit of that molasses flavor in it, and gives a little more character to your drinks (especially mojitos).
Warm sugar water is a great place for bacteria to grow, so you want to cool it down pretty quick. I will usually cover the bottom of a large bowl with ice cubes, put the pan with the hot sugar water on top of the ice cubes, and stir until it is cool. Store it in the refrigerator – it will keep for a couple of months in there. I keep mine in a big decorative glass container meant for olive oil – it looks nice, and has a built-in pour spout.