Simple Syrup is essential for any home bar. With just two ingredients, it is so easy to make and with my instructions, you can make it in so many different flavors!
Simple syrup is a key ingredient in so many great cocktails and recipes. The combination of water and granulated sugar over heat makes the perfect sweetener for cocktails.
Make a big homemade batch and store it in your refrigerator so you always have some on hand. It’s easy to make and much cheaper than store bought syrup. Plus you can flavor it in so many different ways.
How to Make Simple Syrup
This is a brief overview of how to make this easy recipe. For the full recipe with all of the measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Combine the water and sugar in a small sauce pan. Do this over medium heat.
- Whisk the mixture regularly. As the mixture heats up, the sugar will dissolve until the water making the syrup.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat. Let it fully cool before you use it in cocktails.
Simple Syrup Ratio
Though there are some versions of simple syrup that do a 2 to 1 ratio of sugar to water, we stick with the 1 to 1 ratio for our cocktails. You can add very little syrup to a recipe for the perfect amount of sweetness.
How to Flavor Simple Syrup
Simple syrup is a terrific place to add extra flavor to your cocktails. By adding ingredients to the simple syrup after it has finished combining, you can easily make fun twists on your cocktails.
- Follow the recipe as written.
- At the end of step 2 (in the recipe card below), add whatever you would like to make it flavored (see examples below).
- Let the added ingredient steep for at least 30 minutes. Then remove it before storing it (optional).
Flavored Simple Syrup
Here are some of my favorite flavors of simple syrup and some great ideas on how to use it.
- Honey Simple Syrup: Replace the sugar with honey to make this great syrup. It adds a great honey flavor to your cocktails and is perfect in the Bee’s Knees.
- Mint Simple Syrup: Add some fresh mint at the end of step 2. Give your Mojito an extra minty boost!
- Rosemary Simple Syrup: Add some fresh rosemary at the end of step 2. I love adding some of this to my Gin and Tonic.
- Brown Sugar Simple Syrup: Swap the granulated sugar for brown sugar. This would be amazing in a fall themed sangria like my Cinnamon Whiskey Sangria.
- Ginger Simple Syrup: At the end of step 2, grate some fresh ginger into the simple syrup. After steeping, strain the syrup through a mesh strainer and add it to my Moscow Mule.
- Cinnamon Simple Syrup: Toss in a few cinnamon sticks at the end of step 2. Use it in my Old Fashioned instead of a sugar cube.
- Lemon Simple Syrup: Add in some lemon peels at the end of step 2. Use it in my French 75 for an extra lemon boost.
- Basil Simple Syrup: Add some fresh basil at the end of step 2. Use it in my Vodka Lemonade – a favorite of mine!
- Chai Simple Syrup: Add some chai tea bags at the end of step 2. Use it to make this amazing Chai Old Fashioned.
Non Alcoholic Uses
Though we use this recipe all the time in our cocktails, this is also the start of so many great non-alcoholic recipes.
Sugar Free Simple Syrup
You can use sugar substitutes to make simple syrup easily. The main thing to keep in mind is what the brand recommends as the replacement ratio. Usually on the bag it will tell you how much of the substitute you need to replace 1 cup of sugar. Use that amount.
This recipe should be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to one month. It freezes well. Freeze it in an air tight container with room for expansion. Store in the freezer for up to three months. Alternatively, most ice cube tray holes are about 1 ounce. This can be frozen as cubes so that you can thaw just one ounce at a time.
Yes. Simple syrup, even when refrigerated, does go bad. If your simple syrup looks foggy or smells off, discard it.
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.
Cocktails to Use This Recipe
- Whiskey Sour: You can’t beat this classic cocktail.
- There Ingredient Wine Slushies: These can be made in so many different flavors.
- White Wine Sangria: This classic is bound to become a favorite for ladies’ night.
If you give this a try, let me know how it goes and even more importantly, what recipe you used it in!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Combine the water and the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Whisk the mixture regularly. As it heats up, the sugar will start to dissolve into the water. Once it is completely dissolved, remove it from the heat. (If you are adding anything to the syrup for flavor, this is when you would do it. Read more about that here.)
- Allow the syrup to cool completely before using.
- Use once cooled or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.