Simple Syrup Recipe

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PREP TIME 10 min

Cocktail Type


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An ingredient so often called for in cocktail making is a simple syrup, which is typically stirred into tart cocktails to sweeten the flavor. This cocktail ingredient staple is easy to come by in-store or online but is even easier to make at home, and a simple syrup recipe should be in your home bartender arsenal. You can even make more than one portion and store it in the refrigerator for when the urge for making cocktails arises.

What is simple syrup?

Simple syrup is a slightly viscous, clear syrup made from dissolving sugar in water to become a liquid sweetener. You can barely call it a skill to master; a homemade simple syrup is so easy to make, taking no more than 5 minutes of your time and only using two ingredients—sugar and water.

Simple syrup is one of the main components in so many cocktails. It typically blends well with aged American spirits like Bourbon Cocktails but is also always found shaken into other drinks like daiquiris, no matter what the flavor. Because a simple syrup sugar is liquid and smooth, it allows the sweetness to blend evenly into your drink, giving your cocktail a smooth, sweet, and silky texture.



Make a non-sugar-based simple syrup easily with like monk fruit or 100% pure maple syrup.


Make a little more than you need and keep it in the refrigerator for next time


Have some fun with flavors, infuse your syrup with rosemary or lavender



1 Person

cup water
cup sugar



Heat the water in a small pan over gentle heat. (Or pour boiling water into the pan)


Add the sugar and heat gently to dissolve the sugar for 1 to 2 minutes


Cool to room temperature before using in cocktails.


Transfer the remaining syrup into a glass jar, using a funnel to make things easier, and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

How to store homemade simple syrup

Simple syrup poured into a drink

Making more syrup than you require for just one cocktail makes sense as it means that you always have some at hand when you’re in the mood to mix up cocktails for friends.

All you need to do once you have made up a batch is cool it properly and pour it into a clean glass bottle or jar; a Mason jar would be ideal. Pop it in the refrigerator for up to a month (you’ll use it up before then we promise!).

Top tip: Another brilliant option to store your simple syrup is to freeze it; pour into ice cube trays or a silicone mold, freeze overnight then pop out into a Ziploc bag or container to store in the freezer until ready to use. These will thaw in minutes on a hot balmy day!

How to flavor a homemade simple syrup

Cocktail with lavender syrup and blueberries

Now that you have mastered the art of a homemade simple syrup, you can adapt it by adding other flavors. The options are endless—soon you will be making all sorts of fruity or herby syrup infusions to add to your home cocktail bar.

  • For spiced syrups, add cinnamon, nutmeg or mixed spice, or slices of fresh ginger. You can also score a vanilla pod lengthways to expose the seeds for a tasty syrup.
  • For fruity syrups, add some lemon or citrus zest or juice, or even slices of peach or mango. You could also soak dried fruit in the syrup for a few hours to infuse.
  • Make fresh herb Infused syrup, add a few sprigs of mint or rosemary; flowers like lavender are a delicious combination too.
  • To make special holiday gifts, pour your creations into mini bottles and tag them with pretty labels.

Using other sugars can also change things up for your simple syrup recipe. Try using brown sugar to make a treacle, amber-colored, syrup, which is delicious in a Whiskey Sour to enrich the caramel tones of the spirit.

Is it possible to make a sugar-free simple syrup recipe?

Maple syrup in a jar with a wooden spoon

One can easily make a non-sugar-based simple syrup using sweeteners like monk fruit or 100% pure maple syrup. You would make this just like the regular recipe and store it in the same way too. If you need to make a syrup to suit a diabetic diet, use a diabetic-friendly sweetener, but adjust the quantity of the sweetener a little as it does tend to taste sweeter.

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The key is in the words: simple syrup. All you need to do is measure equal volume water and sugar, heat the water and add the sugar. Just simmer gently for a few minutes until you can see the granules dissolve. Cool and store in the refrigerator.

If you make a simple syrup recipe using one cup of sugar and 1 cup of water, it will yield a cup and a half of simple syrup. One would think the end product would be two cups of syrup, however when one dissolves sugar it reduced the volume and the final product equals ¾ the volume of the combined mixed ingredients.

A simple syrup can be kept in a clean glass jar for up to a month in the refrigerator.

Absolutely, you can make a syrup with other sugars; for a richer syrup try making it with brown sugar or coconut sugar for a treacle, amber-colored syrup.

A simple syrup adds sweetness to many cocktails that are very zesty or tangy and won’t leave a crunchy texture in your mouth while sipping as the sugar has melted beautifully in the syrup making a smooth drinking cocktail.

If you don’t have a syrup and can’t make one add a little maple syrup or honey instead, this may need a little more mixing or stirring when making your cocktail.

Yes, you can use honey instead of sugar syrup, you may just need to stir it in a little longer with a little lemon or lime juice as it’s quite a bit thicker than a syrup, so may need a little thinning to disperse into your cocktail

A simple syrup is an equal mix of sugar and water, melted slowly over heat.