Originally Posted by Hyperion
no you don't HAVE to make a syrup to sweeten a drink. but it does take a lot less time to dissolve the sugar. When you make simple syrup you use hot water, which dissolves the sugar very quickly and holds it there without crystallizing afterwards. and then when you want to make the drink, simply dilute the syrup with your juice and water, making it much faster. On the other hand, since your drink will use cold water, it'll take forever to dissolve sugar in cold water.
Thanks for the advice.
I tried making lemonade without simple syrup for once, yesterday.
I added about 10 oz of cane sugar to the pitcher, and then 12 oz of fresh lemon juice. I had to stir for about 5-10 minutes for the sugar to dissolve to my liking. I could still see sugar grains though, when I spooned the lemonade, but it was sparse and drinkable.
I threw the pitcher in the fridge, overnight. I'm pretty sure much of the sugar melted and dissolved by now. The acid from the lemon definitely helps break down the sugar. I'll give it a good stir later tonight, and I think I'll be good to go.