How to make simple syrup with regular sugar, brown sugar, and honey. This is perfect in your cocktails, drinks, and for decorating cakes. Jump to the Simple Syrup Recipe or read on to see our tips.
Simple syrup is ridiculously easy to make and since it lasts a while in the fridge, we can make one large batch and go back to it each time we want to make a cocktail.
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How to Make Simple Syrup
For your basic simple syrup recipe, you only need two ingredients: water and sugar. The most common ratio for simple syrup is equal parts water to sugar. This doesn’t mean that you couldn’t make the syrup richer by using more sugar or leaner by using less sugar.
You can even play around when making simple syrup. Swapping white sugar for brown sugar makes a rich, almost caramel-like syrup that works well in cocktails like this Old Fashioned. Honey is also a nice idea, especially since just using honey in cocktails is tricky. Pure honey is thick and won’t dissolve into the cocktail. By making a honey simple syrup, you thin out the honey while keeping the flavor. Another idea is to make a flavored simple syrup.
- To make brown simple syrup, combine equal parts light or dark brown sugar with water. Bring it to a simmer and cook until the sugar has dissolved.
- To make honey simple syrup, use a one-to-one ratio of honey and water to make a mild flavored honey syrup or increase the honey to two parts and mix with one part water for a stronger honey flavor. For honey syrup, experiment with different honeys. Clover honey is mild and sweet while orange blossom honey might be a nice touch for cocktails that call for citrus.
- To make citrus flavored simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water then add citrus zest. Bring everything to a simmer. As the water simmers, the sugar will dissolve and the oils and flavor of the zest will seep out, making a citrus flavored simple syrup. A similar process works with spices — think whole cloves, star anise, and cinnamon.
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Recipe updated, originally posted October 2011. Since posting this in 2011, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne
Homemade Simple Syrup Recipe
The most common ratio for simple syrup is equal parts water to sugar. For a richer syrup, use more sugar. For a leaner syrup, use less. This recipe can be used with white sugar, brown sugar, and honey. Also, take a look at the notes section below for how to make flavored simple syrup.
You Will Need
1 cup water, preferably filtered
1 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, or honey
Add water and sugar to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Cool then store in an airtight container, in the fridge, up to 4 weeks.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- How to store simple syrup: Store simple syrup in an airtight container, in the fridge, until ready to use. Basic simple syrup will last up to 4 weeks, however flavored simple syrups should be used within two weeks.
- Making flavored simple syrup: Combine equal parts sugar and water then add citrus zest. Bring everything to a simmer. As the water simmers, the sugar will dissolve and the oils and flavor of the zest will seep out, making a citrus flavored simple syrup. A similar process works with spices — think whole cloves, star anise, and cinnamon. You can also make the basic recipe, let it cool and store the syrup with fresh herbs added. Fresh rosemary or mint are delicious. Or try a slice of fresh ginger.
- In case you were wondering, chemistry is to blame for the missing 1/2 cup — You would think 1 cup of water + 1 cup of sugar would equal 2 cups, but it doesn’t, chemistry is like that sometimes.