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Demerara syrup is a sweetener with a nutty, caramel flavor! Use it for cocktails, coffee drinks, and more.

Demerara Syrup
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Want to step up your cocktails and coffee drinks? Try Demerara Syrup! This simple syrup made with demerara sugar transforms drinks with its nutty, caramel flavor. There’s an essence to the flavor that’s hard to describe in words. It makes for one killer cocktail: add it to your Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour or Manhattan for a boost. Or it’s ideal for amping up a latte or tea latte. Even better, it takes just 5 minutes to make!

What is demerara syrup?

Demerara syrup is simple syrup made with demerara sugar instead of granulated sugar. It has a unique caramel flavor, with notes of toffee, toasted sugar, and molasses. It’s popularly used in cocktails to add layers of flavor, and it works in coffee and tea drinks as well.

And what is demerara sugar?

Demerara sugar is a raw sugar with crunchy, coarse grains and a golden brown color. It’s the result of the first crystallization of processing cane sugar. Because it’s minimally processed, it still has some molasses: which adds the flavor notes and signature color.

Further processing of demerara sugar makes granulated sugar, which has a clean, pure taste and smaller grains. Brown sugar is simply granulated sugar with molasses added back: so it has smaller grains and a darker, more molasses-forward flavor than demerara.

Demerara sugar

How to make demerara syrup

Now for the fun part. If you’ve got the sugar and 5 minutes, you can make demerara syrup! There’s really no skill involved here, so let’s get right to it. It’s a formula you can memorize and make again and again:

  1. Place equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan. In this recipe, we used ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water, which yields ¾ cup syrup.
  2. Heat over medium and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Resist the urge to simmer! All you want is to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Cool to room temperature. That’s it: you’re done! Cool to room temperature before using.
Demerara Syrup

How long does it last?

Store demerara syrup in a covered container in the refrigerator for 1 month. It’s nice to start it in a jar with a nozzle top, so you can use it for drizzling into cocktails and coffee drinks.

Ways to use demerara syrup

How to use demerara syrup? This caramel-flavored syrup tastes incredible right off a spoon, but it’s at its best in cocktails, mocktails, coffee drinks, and tea drinks. It naturally pairs well with barrel-aged liquors like whiskey and rum, but it adds a lovely flavor layer to any cocktail. Use demerara syrup in:

  • Whiskey cocktails like the Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour and Manhattan
  • Rum cocktails like the Mojito and Daiquiri
  • Coffee drinks like lattes, cold brew, iced espresso, and mochas
  • Tea drinks like tea lattes or iced tea
  • Pancakes and waffles: it even adds a unique flavor to pancakes and waffles!

More syrup recipes

Love making homemade syrups? Here are a few more recipes to try:

This demerara syrup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Demerara Syrup

Demerara Syrup

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: ¾ cup 1x


Demerara syrup is a sweetener with a nutty, caramel flavor! Use it for cocktails, coffee drinks, and more.


  • ½ cup demerara sugar
  • ½ cup water


  1. Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes (no need to simmer). Cool to room temperature before using. Keeps in the refrigerator for 1 month.
  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. JessM says:

    I am excited to make this for my husband as he is a self taught mixologist and loves using flavorful ingredients like this!

    Where did you get that bottle you use to pour the syrup? It is gorgeous!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      I’m not sure how it came to us, sorry!

  2. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!