Simple syrup is a sugar-based sweetener. Essentially, it’s sugar and water that’s been cooked. Today, I’m talking about how to make simple syrup, plus sharing fun flavor variations.
I’m sure some of you just rolled your eyes and thought, “Really? Is he posting a recipe for simple syrup?” I get it. Yes, if you can boil water, you can make simple syrup. However, I also thought there might be folks out there who haven’t heard of simple syrup or ever made it. After sharing a handful of recipes on the blog that use simple syrup, I thought it made sense to also post a recipe for it.
To keep things interesting for all of you who are well versed in making simple syrup, I’m also including variations on the recipe: cranberry simple syrup, apple cinnamon, rhubarb, and more!
Let’s get started!
What is Simple Syrup?
Simple syrup is a liquid (syrupy) sweetener made of one part water and one part sugar.
It is typically used to sweeten drinks and cocktails or to add moisture and sweetness to baked goods. (I’ve included a broader list of uses below.) Flavors can also be added to simple syrup, which then allows it to act as a flavor enhancer when added to a recipe.
Simple syrup uses:
- cocktail / cocktails
- lemonade / iced tea
- cakes and desserts
- ice cream topping
- glaze for meats and fish
- topping for pancakes and waffles
How Do You Make Simple Syrup?
As I mentioned above, traditional simple syrup is made with one part water to one part sugar. The typical measurement is 1 cup to 1 cup, however, you can adjust this amount based on your needs and preferences.
When I make simple syrup, I alter the ration of water to sugar. Most of the time, I use 3/4 cup of water to 1 cup of sugar. This gives me a thicker syrup which I like for most recipes.
Add sugar and water to a small saucepan.
Cook and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. For a thicker syrup cook a bit longer.
Let the syrup cool. Then store in a jar with a sealed lid.
Simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.
That’s it, my friends! It’s that simple.
I’ve shared the full recipe and instructions in the printable recipe card below.
Can You Buy Simple Syrup?
Yes. However, because it’s so simple to make, I recommend whipping up a batch at home.
Simple Syrup Variations:
As I mentioned above, you can make lots of simple syrup variations. For example:
- Citrus Simple Syrup – add lemon, lime, orange, etc.
- Mint Simple Syrup – add fresh mint
- Vanilla – use vanilla sugar
- Fruit Simple Syrup – add fruit or berries
- Spicy Simple Syrup – add jalapeños
This list could go on and on. If you add any ingredients to your simple syrup, I recommend straining them off with a fine sieve before sealing and storing the syrup.
I thought it might also be helpful to remind you of a few variations I’ve made and shared with you on IBC. You can click on the recipe name for more details and the full recipe.
- Cranberry Simple Syrup for Cranberry Old Fashioned
Ingredients: water, sugar, fresh cranberries
- Spiced Pear Simple Syrup for Spiced Pear Moscow Mule
Ingredients: pear juice, sugar, fresh pear, spices
- Apple Pie Simple Syrup for Apple Pie Sangria
Ingredients: water, sugar, spices
- Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup for Strawberry Rhubarb Cake and Strawberry Margaritas
Ingredients: water, sugar, fresh rhubarb, fresh strawberries
- Lime Simple Syrup for Strawberry Limeade Cake
Ingredients: water, sugar, lime zest, fresh lime juice
- Rosemary Sage Simple Syrup for Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail
Ingredients: water, sugar, fresh rosemary, fresh sages
So many delicious options, right?
If I make additional simple syrup variations, I’ll be certain to update the list above.
In the meantime, you can use the recipe below to create a basic simple syrup or a creative concoction of your own. Let me know in the comments below what simple syrup recipes you’ve made or would like to try!
I hope you found this post helpful and inspiring!
Simple Syrup Recipe:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan.
- Cook and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. (For a thicker syrup cook a bit longer.)
- Let the syrup cool. Then store in a jar with a sealed lid.
- Simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.