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How to Make Simple Syrup

5 from 2 votes
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posted: 01/24/20

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Learn all you need to know for how to make simple syrup for cocktails! An essential for any bar, it’s easy to make. You can even add different flavors.

mason jar full of simple syrup with bitters and whiskey in the background

Simple syrup is a key ingredient in many luscious cocktails and recipes. Make a big homemade batch and store it in your refrigerator so you always have some on hand. It’s super easy to make and much cheaper than store bought syrup.

How Do You Make Simple Syrup?

Making this easy cocktail sweetener requires boiling equal parts sugar and water. That’s it! Couldn’t be easier. Though there are some versions that do a 2 to 1 ratio of sugar to water, we stick with the 1 to 1 ratio for our cocktails. It gives just the right amount of sweetness.

Start with one cup of sugar.

pouring white granulated sugar into a teal enamel pan as a step in making simple syrup

Add in one cup of water.

pouring water into an enamel pan to make simple syrup

Mix together over low heat.

a whisk, whisking simple syrup to show how to make simple syrup

Bring to a boil and continue to cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, and the liquid has slightly thickened.

simple syrup bubbling as it cooks in a blue enamel sauce pan on top of a hot plate

Remove the simple syrup from the heat, allow to cool, and use in all your cocktails.

Add Extra Flavor

Simple syrup is a terrific place to add extra flavor to your cocktails. What about a rosemary twist on your gin and tonic? Or a basil twist to your vodka lemonade? It is simple and easy to do.

  • Make this recipe as you normally would.
  • When you are done and removing the syrup from the heat.
  • Add whatever flavor you want (basil leaves, a sprig of rosemary, lemon peel, a cinnamon stick).
  • Remove the basil, the lemon peel, or the cinnamon stick before storing the simple syrup (optional).

How Do You Store Simple Syrup?

This recipe has a good shelf life.

  • A recipe that is a 1:1 ratio (as is described here) has a one month shelf life if stored in a clean airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Syrup that is a 2:1 ratio has a six week shelf life if stored in a clean airtight container in the refrigerator.

Our Favorite Cocktails Use This Recipe

If you give this a try, let me know how it goes and even more importantly, what recipe you used it in!

simple syrup in a mason jar with a metal whisk next to it and a gold measuring cup in the background to show how to make simple syrup
mason jar full of simple syrup with bitters and whiskey in the background
5 from 2 votes

How to Make Simple Syrup

(tap # to scale)
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 7 minutes
Learn all you need to know for how to make simple syrup for cocktails! An essential for any bar, simply syrup is easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  • Combine the water and the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the syrup has thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Cool completely.
  • Use in all your cocktails and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Notes

This recipe makes 1 1/2 cups
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: cocktails
Cuisine: American
mason jar full of simple syrup with bitters and whiskey in the background

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How to Make Simple Syrup

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Jessica Griffin says

    I’m new to this concept, but trying to figure out how to make homemade LAVENDAR italian cream sodas for my 17 yr old. I won’t pay the coffee shop $5/day to make them plus the syrup they use cannot be healthy. Trying to be more mindful of her diet because she is a newly diagnosed type 1 diabetic. Any idea on how to make lavender simple syrup? Essential oils are probably not the answer??? Thank you for your help :)

    • Lisa Longley says

      Oye. That’s a hard question. I don’t think that my simple syrup is the answer for a kiddo with type one 1 diabetes because it is really just sugar water. You can try making it with Truvia (a sugar substitute). I would try doing that first before adding in any flavor – just to make sure that works first. Then look at this post from The Adventure bite (https://theadventurebite.com/blackberry-lavender-champagne-cocktail/). She uses dried lavender flowers and boils them. I would suspect you could do that with simple syrup and then strain it. Let me know what you do! I’d love to hear about it.

  2. Greg says

    5 stars
    Great recipe for simple syrup. My grandmother owned a Tastee Freeze franchise back in the 50’s and this is the recipe base she used for many flavorful milkshakes

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