How Do I Choose the Best Liquid Sugar?

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  • Written By: Eugene P.
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 08 May 2020
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Liquid sugar usually is just simple syrup made from some type of sweetener that has been mixed with water. Choosing the best liquid sugar mainly involves knowing exactly what type of sugar was used to make it. In many instances, a simple water and sugar mixture can be the best because it is sweet, versatile both for adding to drinks and for cooking, and relatively economical. For a more complex flavor that is suitable for baking and for flavoring more robust drinks and foods, a liquid made with brown sugar might be the best. Other factors also can help determine which liquid sugar is the best, including whether certain chemicals or sugar substitutes are desired, how sweet the liquid should be, and whether the syrup should be flavored or plain.

The most basic decision to make when choosing the best liquid sugar is what type of sweetness is desired. Basic white sugar will make a liquid that is equally as sweet as granulated sugar and can be used in drinks such as tea and in cooked recipes. Brown sugar creates syrup that has a deeper, more subtle type of sweetness that can be lost or clash with some beverages, although it does add a less sharp sweetness when used in baking. Pure cane sugar or beet sugar can make a liquid that has a slightly different sweet taste and usually a light, golden color.

Alternately, when extreme sweetness is needed, some liquid sugar is made with ingredients other than pure sugars. Most commonly, commercial manufacturers use fructose and glucose to create a liquid whose sweetness exceeds that of syrups made with white sugar. In some instances, this is beneficial because less of the liquid is needed to sweeten drinks. Artificial sweeteners sometimes are used to make liquid sugar, providing a type of sweet flavor that is unlike natural sugar and has a different nutritional profile.

There are two basic types of liquid sugar that are commercially sold. The first is standard syrup that can be used directly out of the bottle. A second type is condensed liquid, meaning more sugar has been added to create thicker syrup. A concentrated liquid can be more economical at times, although it might have to be diluted before being used. As a general table sugar, standard un-concentrated liquid might be the best choice based on ease of use.

When all else fails, liquid sugar can be made very easily at home. The process involves mixing equal amounts of sugar and water and then heating the mixture in a pan until the sugar has been fully incorporated into the water. The amount and type of sugar added can be adjusted while cooking to achieve the level of sweetness desired.


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Would liquid sugar be a healthier substitute than normal sugar?

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