Place sugar, water, and almonds in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, let the sugar dissolve, and boil for one minute. Take off of the heat, and let steep for 20 minutes. Add almond extract, of using. Strain out the solids (the almonds are delicious at this point, like a sugared fresh nibble!). The syrup will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.