Honey Syrup Recipe

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Cocktail Type


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A jar of honey syrup with a honey dipper

Much like its sugary simple syrup cousin, this honey syrup recipe is an awesome way to sweeten your cocktails. It’s super easy to make, and its flavor in cocktails is incredible. Unlike simple syrup, which just adds sweetness, honey syrup adds sweetness and the subtle flavor of honey. With over 300 varieties of honey worldwide, you’ll soon start to see all the tasty possibilities. So, let’s dive into the hive and get our ‘Bee-H-D’ in delicious honey syrup recipes.  



Make small batches of honey syrup rather than big batches and date them.  


Warm the honey and water but don’t boil it because it destroys the delicate character of the honey.


Sterilize your storage bottle in boiling water to kill any germs before bottling it.  



1 Person

6 Oz

180 Ml

6 Parts

Unpasteurized or raw honey
1.5 Oz

45 Ml

1.5 Parts

Warm water (not hotter than 104° F)



Pour the honey into a measuring cup 


Add the warm water and stir well until combined  


Pour into a sterilized bottle   


Seal and store in the fridge for up to 1 month   

Let’s talk about bees for a second

It’s easy to buy any bottle of honey, but you’ve got to consider where it came from, and this is why: every drop of this sweet, golden nectar is made by bees. A bee can visit up to 600 flowers a day collecting nectar which they store in a honey pouch. Special enzymes in the pouch begin the honey-making process before the bee even deposits the honey in the hive. A single honeybee will make just 1 ½ teaspoons of honey in its lifetime. They say that to produce one pound of honey, a hive of bees must visit over a million flowers. That’s over a million flowers to make one 17 oz jar of honey. 

Unfortunately, the commercial the honey industry is rife with dodgy dealings and shady practices. Pollen filtering, honey laundering and cutting honey with high fructose corn syrup are just some of the things that happen behind the scenes. But that is an article for another time. Our advice is to source ethically farmed honey from responsible sources. That way you know that you’re not supporting practices that are hurting the bees and their environment.  

Which honey to use?

There are a couple of options to choose from when making a honey simple syrup recipe. Most supermarket honey is pasteurized, meaning it has been treated with high heat. This method kills any yeast, but it also destroys nutrients and some of the delicate character of the honey. Unpasteurized honey is treated with less heat, so more of the flavor remains intact. Raw honey is straight from the hive, but it is lightly filtered to remove impurities like beeswax and dead bees.   

Another thing to consider is the nectar source of honey. Wildflower and clover honey are great options because they are light and sweet. If you’re looking for something heavier, then try buckwheat or eucalyptus honey. Our advice is to go to your local farmers market, chat with the honey producers and find the best quality and most sustainable honey you can.

How to use this honey syrup recipe

We’ve listed a few classic cocktails below that use honey syrup. You can also use it in any cocktail as a simple syrup replacement. Honey syrup adds complexity to cocktails with floral and fruity flavors, so play around with different types of honey. It can also be used in everything from marinades and salad dressings to sweetening tea or coffee. You can even use it as a topping for waffles, fruit, or ice cream.   

  • Bees Knees Cocktail: The Bees Knees is a 1920s classic that features punchy gin, vibrant lemon juice, and floral honey syrup. It’s bright and herbaceous with a refreshing zing. 
  • Gold Rush Cocktail: The Gold Rush is a sweet-sipping, smooth-drinking bourbon cocktail. It has lemon juice for tartness, and it’s rounded off with honey syrup to complement the sultry bourbon flavors.  
  • Brown Derby Cocktail: The Brown Derby is another 1920s classic that features bourbon, grapefruit juice, and honey syrup. It’s a gorgeous mix of sweet and tart flavors with a smooth finish of oaky bourbon.  


Now that you’ve got the basic recipe down, you can experiment with different flavor additions. Simply steep the ingredients in the warm honey for a few hours to infuse, then strain. For spices, you can try vanilla pods, star anise, or any whole spices. For herbs, you can try rosemary, thyme, or even edible lavender. For a honey ginger syrup recipe, add peeled and chopped fresh ginger.    

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If you store your honey syrup in the fridge, it should keep for a month.

Any honey will work to make this honey simple syrup recipe. We recommend using the best quality honey you can find for maximum honey flavor and complexity.

It’s fine to warm the water in a microwave-safe bowl until it reaches 104° F, and then whisk in the honey until dissolved.