To summarize, I produced two 2:1 simple syrups. One was created by nothing more than shaking in a mason jar, the other was heated to boil, then removed from heat.
I did a double blind test, 2 samples of each syrup type in random order.
The main result is that while there is a perceptible difference, but not in the flavor. 66% of the test subjects could not taste a flavor difference. 66 % of the test subjects were able to tell one syrup from the other, but were wrong on which was which. What is the difference?
Viscosity. The hot method syrup was thicker than the cold method. One of the test subjects believed the thickness of the syrup affected the physicality of tasting, and so thought the hot-method syrup was less sweet than the cold-method. Results are a bit inconclusive, so I’d love to see this experiment repeated.
The next test will be tasting difference in falernum: Initial non-scientific non-blind tastings showed no difference between the two syrups in the falernum. I plan to test using the syrups in a cocktail as well.
But the take home? Don’t waste your time shaking the sugar (unless you are after a thinner mouth-feel for your syrup).
Also, I finished my initial design for the site. If you’ve never been there and only viewed via RSS feed, take a look and tell me what you think. If you’ve been to the site before, you may have to refresh your cache by force-reloading the page.