As a key ingredient in many cocktails and coffee drinks, Simple Syrup is a kitchen staple. With only two ingredients and a few minutes on the stovetop, you’ll create the perfect sweetener for any hot or cold beverage.
It feels a little silly to share how to make simple syrup, but trust me, it’s important. And if you’ve ever tried to add granulated sugar to a cold beverage like iced tea, you know why.
This easy, two-ingredient sugar syrup helps you avoid sucking up coarse sugar granules through a straw. You’ll get all the sweetness you want with an ultra-smooth texture. On top of that, you can add it to your beverage right before drinking it, no matter the temperature.
This recipe is my favorite way to make simple syrup. It’s the thicker version that’s often referred to as “rich syrup.” With a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water, it’s sweeter than the basic 1:1 ratio of simple syrup. It also adds a bit of extra body to your beverage of choice.
Keep this secret weapon on hand for summer beverages like Southern Sweet Tea, iced coffee, and Italian sodas. It’s perfect to keep around for cocktail parties and the holidays, too. You can even add it to a smoothie if you don’t have honey or agave on hand.
If you want to get creative with flavorings, the options are endless! You can add ingredients like citrus zest, herbs, flowers, and spices to add flavor and aroma. Try adding my Lavender Simple Syrup to a latte or lemonade to be transported to the French countryside in one delicious sip.
How to Make Simple Syrup
- Combine. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan.
- Simmer. Bring the pot to a simmer and cook until the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Store. Transfer the hot syrup to a jar or another airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to one month.
- Once the syrup comes to a boil, add herbs like mint, basil, cinnamon sticks, or ginger. Strain the syrup well before storing it.
- For added flavor and color, substitute different sugars such as brown sugar in equal amounts.
- Try making a spiced simple syrup with fruit juice instead of water, like my Apple Cider Simple Syrup.
- Add floral notes, with culinary lavender or dried herbs like we did with this Lavender Simple Syrup.
Tips & Tricks
- Boil the water a touch faster. To save a little time, bring the water to a boil before adding the sugar.
- Watch out for boiling-hot syrup. Be extra careful when handling the hot simple syrup, which is like molten magma. You’ll also want to avoid pouring it into anything plastic while it’s hot.
- Use an ice bath for rapid cooling. If you’re in a hurry to add the just-boiled syrup to a cold beverage, place the hot pot in an ice bath to cool it quickly.
My favorite way to enjoy this simple syrup is in Cold Brew Coffee, which is surprisingly easy to make overnight at home. Another fabulous hot-weather beverage that uses this syrup is my Classic Lemonade.
If you decide to try making your own lavender syrup, use it in this Sparkling Lavender Orange Mimosa. Brunch will never be the same again!
Does simple syrup need to be refrigerated?
Yes, simple syrup needs to be stored in the fridge since it is water-based and can potentially mold.
What can I use if I don’t have time to make simple syrup?
Even if you’re a little short on time, I encourage you to try this recipe. It comes together in only 10 minutes! If you really don’t have time to make simple syrup, try using agave, honey, or maple syrup instead.
Stock your pantry with more sweet sauce and jam recipes!
Get the Recipe: How to Make Simple Syrup Recipe
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 saucepan
- 1 measuring cup
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat and cook until the sugar is dissolved complete.
- Transfer to a jar or other airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.