Simple Syrup

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Craft your own homemade simple syrup in just 5 minutes with 2 ingredients – water and sugar. Use it to sweeten cocktails, mocktails, iced tea, lemonade, and more. Don’t spend $6.00 on a tiny bottle of syrup at the market when you can easily make it at home for almost nothing!

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Homemade simple syrup in a bottle.

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👩🏻‍🍳 Why This Recipe’s a Keeper

  • Foolproof Recipe: It’s super simple to prepare.
  • Dissolves Quickly: Unlike granulated sugar which can remain gritty, simple syrup blends seamlessly into cold drinks like lemonade, cocktails and iced tea.
  • Highly Customizable: Simple syrup can be infused with herbs, lavender, vanilla extract, honey, and more to create unique flavored syrups. Adjusting the sugar-to-water ratio allows you to control the level of thickness and sweetness.
  • It Has Many Uses: In addition to sweetening drinks and beverages, you can use it to add moisture and sweetness to desserts and baked goods. Brush it over cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts to help keep them moist and enhance their flavor. Use it to sweeten fruit salads or sauces.
  • Can Last a Long Time: When simple syrup is made in a 1-to-1 ratio of water and sugar without any add-ins (and briefly boiled to sterilize it and extend its shelf life), it can last for 3 to 4 weeks if kept refrigerated in a sterilized airtight container. But if stored at room temperature, simple syrup can spoil in just a few days.
Simple syrup being poured into a glass jar.

🛒 Ingredients

  • Water: Dissolves the sugar to form the syrup base. Although you can use tap water, I prefer using purified (or bottled) drinking water instead.
  • Granulated Sugar: Provides sweetness and body to the syrup. White sugar creates an almost clear syrup – with just a slight tint of yellow. Brown sugar makes a richer, caramel-like syrup. For cocktails, mocktails and drinks – using granulated sugar is the classic choice.
Ingredients for making simple syrup: water and granulated sugar.

📖 Recipe Steps

  1. Measure out equal parts water and sugar. For example: 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. This is an easy recipe to scale up or down, depending on how much simple syrup you need.
  2. Add them to a saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once boiling, continue to cook for 1-2 minutes to make sure all of the sugar has been dissolved.
  3. Immediately remove the saucepan from heat. Allow the simple syrup to cool completely.
  4. Transfer the cooled syrup to a sterilized airtight container – like a glass jar. If desired, use a kitchen funnel to transfer the mixture. Store the simple syrup in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
How to make simple syrup in a few easy steps.

👨🏻‍🍳 Recipe FAQs

No, you don’t need to use hot or boiling water. Room temperature or even cold water works fine, it just takes a bit longer for the sugar to fully dissolve. Hot water speeds up the process but isn’t necessary.

The standard ratio is 1:1 – equal parts sugar and water by weight or volume. This creates a basic simple syrup. For a richer, thicker syrup, use a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water.

In a pinch, when you don’t have access to heat (like when you’re camping or boating) – add water and sugar to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously until the sugar is fully dissolved. Or, if time allows, combine the ingredients and let them dissolve in the fridge overnight.

Simple syrup can last for about a month if stored correctly – in a sterilized container with an airtight lid in the fridge. If you make a larger batch, you can also freeze it for longer storage. But my recommendation is just to make as much syrup as you need right now. It’s simple to make more later on.

Bottle of homemade simple syrup.

Drinks That Use Simple Syrup

Bottle of homemade simple syrup.

Rate This Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Flavor Tester Review: “Where has this recipe been all my life? It’s simple yet amazing. It yields maximum flavor with minimal effort. And it’s such a money-saver. No more spending $6 or more to buy it at the store.”

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Homemade simple syrup in a bottle.

Simple Syrup


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Description

Made with just 2 humble ingredients – water and sugar, simple syrup is a bartender’s best friend. Sweeten cocktails, mocktails, lemonade, iced tea, and more.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Add water and sugar to a saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once boiling, continue to cook for 1-2 minutes to make sure all of the sugar has been dissolved.
  2. Immediately remove the saucepan from heat. Allow the simple syrup to cool completely. 
  3. Transfer the cooled syrup to a sterilized airtight container – like a glass jar. If desired, use a kitchen funnel to transfer the mixture. Store the simple syrup in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Notes

Simple 1:1 ratio: The standard ratio for simple syrup is 1:1 – equal parts sugar and water by weight or volume. This creates a classic syrup ideal for cocktails, mocktails, iced tea and lemonade. (For a richer, thicker syrup, use a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water.)

Don’t boil it for too long: If simple syrup is boiled for too long it will caramelize.

Make ahead : This simple syrup can be made in advance and stored in the fridge in a sterilized airtight container.

  • Prep Time: 0 Minutes
  • Cooling/Shedding Heat: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 Minutes
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

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