1) Does anyone have Audrey Saunders' cold infused lime syrup recipe handy? The link on the first page of this thread is broken, and I couldn't find it in a search.
I think I might have been me who posted about that (I don't find it under her profile). There's really nothing to it: Start with a cup of 1:1 simple syrup, add the microplaned zest of one large lime, refrigerate for 24 hours or until it reaches the strength you would like, filter out the lime zest, bottle and use.
I have several modifications when I do this at home: First, I use more than one lime's worth of zest per cup of simple. Second, I briefly (ca. 10 minutes) infuse the zest into an ounce or so of vodka before adding the vodka and zest to the cold syrup for further infusion. This creates a more pungent extraction that I might call "muddled lime syrup." Third, I do a 2:1 simple syrup for better shelf stability.
2) I've been adding a couple of tablespoons of vodka to my homemade grenadine as a preservative, but I was also wondering about adding ascorbic acid instead. Anyone have any experience with this?
Meh. The best way to preserve your homemade grenadine is to increase the saturation. Sugar is a good preservative, and likely better than any amount of ascorbic acid you could add.
All of this talk about how to best preserve syrups by monkeying around with sugar and ethanol contents, periodic boiling, etc... Why bother?
Well, for me it's because I don't want to have to mix up a batch of simple syrup every single time I want to make a drink. Therefore, there is some advantage to having a simple syrup that won't go off in the refrigerator (I actually have several: white gomme, demerara gomme, 1:1 simple, 2:1 demerara, 4:1 cane, 2:1 lime, 4:1 homemade pomegranate grenadine). This is especially true for things like gomme syrup and grenadine that involve a fair amount of work to make.
As I said above, increasing the sugar content is probably the best way to preserve your simple syrup -- especially if you are keeping it in the refrigerator. I've never been convinced that adding a few tablespoons of vodka to a pint of simple syrup would have any meaningful preservative effect on the syrup, as I don't see how it could possibly raise the alcoholic strength of the syrup enough to make a difference. I do, however, usually float a half-ounce or so of high proof spirits on the top of bottles of syrup that are going to be stored for a long time before I use them (for example, if I have two pint bottles of homemade grenadine). If the syrup is sufficiently concentrated, the spirits actually remain in a layer floating on top of the syrup rather than mixing in.
And besides... For me one of the rewarding things about making my own maraschino cherries/grenadine/etc is that it doesn't have preservatives in it.
You know that sugar is a preservative, right? As are salt, oil, and alcohol?
well...yeah...a basic 1:1 takes two minutes to make (literally). no need to boil it.....just measure and then shake really hard for a minute. then shake it the first few times you pour it. its really that simple.
The problem with 1:1 syrup is that it is not very shelf-stable. This makes it a bad idea, IMO, if you are doing any kind of infusion. Of course some infusions (citrus zest, certain spices) seem to keep relatively good flavor for quite some time on the shelf whereas others (ginger) don't last very long and still others (mint) never taste quite right for my palate.