How to Make Simple Syrup

It’s as simple as it sounds.

April 20, 2022
Homemade Sugar Simple Syrup in a Bottle

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Homemade Sugar Simple Syrup in a Bottle

Photo by: bhofack2/Getty Images

bhofack2/Getty Images

By Layla Khoury-Hanold for Food Network Kitchen

Layla Khoury-Hanold is a contributor at Food Network.

Simple syrup is a key cocktail ingredient and is often used to sweeten cold drinks such as iced coffee, tea or lemonade, too. Simple syrup is readily available at the grocery store, but once you learn how easy it is to make simple syrup at home, you’ll never shell out for store-bought again. Here’s how to make simple syrup.

What Is Simple Syrup?

Simple syrup is a liquid sweetener that’s made by dissolving sugar in water. It’s an essential ingredient for adding sweetness to cocktails, mocktails and other cold drinks, such as iced tea, iced coffee or lemonade.

Simple Syrup Ratio

To make your own simple syrup, follow a ratio of equal parts granulated sugar and water. For traditional simple syrup, use a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water (1 part sugar to 1 part water). To make a rich simple syrup, which some bartenders prefer for its thickness and capacity to add body to cocktails, employ a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water (2 parts granulated sugar or demerara sugar to one part water).

How to Make Simple Syrup

Simple Syrup

Check out Food Network Kitchen's classic recipe.

Once you master this base Simple Syrup recipe, you can experiment by infusing your homemade simple syrup with spices, fruits or herbs. For more inspiration, check out our Simple Syrup, 3 Ways recipe to create flavors such as ginger-tangerine and raspberry-vanilla.

A note on measuring ingredients: The simplest way to measure your ingredients is to measure 1 cup of sugar with a dry measuring cup and 1 cup of water with a liquid measuring cup. For ultra-precise measurements, weigh your ingredients: 8 ounces of sugar to 8 ounces of water.

1. Combine Sugar and Water

Add equal parts sugar and water to a saucepan and stir to combine.

2. Dissolve the Sugar

Cook over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.

3. Take off the Heat

Remove from the heat and cool completely.

4. Store the Syrup

Once the simple syrup has completely cooled, transfer it to a sealed glass container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

How Long Does Simple Syrup Last?

Stored properly, homemade simple syrup can last for up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Once your batch of simple syrup has completely cooled, transfer it to a tightly sealed glass container (such as a bottle or Mason jar) and store in the fridge.

Food Network's Coconut Mojito

Food Network's Coconut Mojito

Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

How to Use Simple Syrup

Use simple syrup to sweeten cocktails such as a Coconut Mojito (pictured above) or a Mint Julep, or mocktails such as this Chocolate Covered Strawberry Mocktail. You can use it to sweeten any kind of cold beverage, such as Homemade Lemonade or iced tea. You can also use simple syrup to drizzle over fruit salad, ice cream or cake, as with this dessert of Grilled Pound Cake with Grilled Peaches and Cinnamon-Vanilla Syrup.

Simple syrup can be used to moisten baked goods by brushing it between cake layers or pouring over the top to rectify a dried-out cake. When mixed with honey, simple syrup is a key ingredient for making baklava, a phyllo pastry that’s often infused with orange blossom or rose water, such as this Baklava with Rose Water recipe. Simple syrup can also be used to sweeten and flavor sorbet, like the mint simple syrup sorbet in this Pomegranate and Mint Sorbet.

Substitutes for Simple Syrup

If you don’t have any simple syrup on hand or don’t have time to whip up a fresh batch, try substituting maple syrup, agave syrup or honey in your recipe. For cocktails, agave syrup or honey thinned with warm water tend to work best as a simple syrup substitute.

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