How to Make Simple Syrup

Yes, it really is that simple! All you need is sugar and 5 minutes to make this popular cocktail sweetener. Here’s how to make simple syrup at home!

How to make simple syrup

Simple syrup is a sweetener that’s often used in cocktail recipes and coffee drinks. But did you know you can make it at home in just 5 minutes? All you need is sugar and water, and you’ve got your own! Alex and I have turned into semi-professional mixologists over here, with a long list of homemade cocktails under our belt. It wasn’t long into it that we realized homemade simple syrup was a skill we needed to master. Here’s how to make simple syrup: it’s so easy you can memorize it!

How to make simple syrup (it really is that simple!)

If you’ve got sugar and 5 minutes, you can make simple 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 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water.
  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.
How to make simple syrup

How much simple syrup does 1 cup sugar make?

It equals 1 1/2 cups syrup. You’d think that 1 cup sugar plus 1 cup water would be 2 cups syrup, right? But the chemistry of dissolving sugar makes the final product equal 3/4 the volume of the added quantities of sugar and water.

How long does simple syrup last?

Store it in a covered container in the refrigerator. (We use a mason jar with a lid.) It lasts for about 1 month.

Simple syrup recipe

Can you use other sugars in simple syrup?

You can! Using brown sugar results in a caramel-y brown syrup that works well in bourbon and whiskey drinks like our whiskey sour. You also can use natural sweeteners in your cocktails…keep reading.

Is there a naturally sweet simple syrup? (Yes! Maple.)

There is…it’s pure maple syrup! Alex and I love using maple as as sweetener for our cocktail recipes instead of simple syrup. In fact, we prefer it! It gives a gentle sweetness and adds a bit of flavor nuance, almost like adding an aroma or essence like in bitters. If you choose to use maple in your cocktails, make sure to use “pure” and not the imitation variety that uses artificial ingredients.

Here are some of our favorite drinks that we’ve sweetened with maple:

How to make simple syrup

What cocktails use it?

So many! Too many to count, really. So here are some of our favorite collections of cocktail recipes: many of the recipes you’ll find here have simple syrup!

This recipe is…

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

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Simple syrup recipe

How to Make Simple Syrup


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 3/4 cup 1x

Description

Yes, it really is that simple! All you need is sugar and 5 minutes to make this popular cocktail sweetener. Here’s how to make simple syrup at home!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Add the sugar and water to saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Stir until sugar is dissolved (don’t bring to simmer) for 1 to 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature before using. Keeps in the refrigerator for 1 month.

  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: How to make simple syrup

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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