If you are new to bartending and mixology, you will soon learn that most cocktail recipes ask for syrup. The vast majority will ask for simple syrup, making it one of the most used ingredients in cocktails.
But instead of heading to the store and buying a bottle of this staple sweetener, you can easily make it at home. After all, this syrup is just sugar dissolved in water. Plus, you can save up to 95%.
Jump to Recipe | The right ratio | How to make simple syrup | Variations | Flavored Syrups | FAQs
The right Ratio of Sugar & Water
The standard recipe for simple syrup uses one part sugar to one part water (1:1). White granulated sugar is a common choice. But you can also experiment with others like cane, brown, or Demerara sugar.
Rich Simple Syrup
The most common simple syrup variation is called rich simple syrup. Instead of equal amounts, this recipe requires two parts sugar per one part water (2:1).
A rich syrup is thicker in consistency and also sweeter. It is often used to get a richer body in drinks, also creating a better mouthfeel. The process is the same as for regular syrup.
How to make Simple syrup
The most elaborate part about making your own simple syrup is measuring the ingredients and bottling the final syrup.
1. Measure - We need equal parts of water and sugar. If you measure with cups, use a liquid cup for water and a dry cup for the sugar. A more precise way is to measure both ingredients by weight.
2. Heat and Dissolve - You can heat the water first and then add sugar or add the sugar straight away. The difference is minimal. Stir while the mix slowly warms up to speed up the dissolving process.
3. Cool Down & Bottling - Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat and let the mixture cool down. Once it reaches room temperature, bottle it in sterilized glass bottles. Use a small funnel to make the process easier.
Variations on the recipe
Homemade simple syrup can easily be infused with a variety of ingredients. You can get creative and make all kinds of floral, fruity, spicy, or herbal syrups.
You can also use another sweetener as the base of your syrup. Use honey or brown sugar, or go sugar-free with stevia.
Making Flavored syrups
You can make flavored syrups of all sorts. Classics like Orgeat and Falernum (this can be alcoholic, too) are a staple in every cocktail bar. But there is plenty of options and room to get creative.
Here are some ideas for your next flavor syrups:
- Use cinnamon sticks for a spicy cinnamon syrup
- Elderflower blossoms make for an elegant floral & herbal sweetener
- Add Hibiscus flower for a sweet and floral syrup
- Use Butterfly pea flowers to make a dark blue and color-changing syrup
- Add lavender flowers to create a delicate floral syrup
- Use fresh and ripe passion fruits in our amazing tropical syrup recipe
- Pineapple also works well in syrup; -And it's perfect for Rum cocktails
- Or make a delicious Fig syrup that's fantastic in a G&T
- Pink Dragon fruit makes for a bright pink and deliciously fruity syrup
- 1 cup Water
- 1 cup Sugar
- Add sugar and water to a small saucepan. Turn the heat to medium and stir the mixture while bringing it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer. For getting a nice and smooth syrup, the sugar has to dissolve completely in the water. That usually will take a few minutes.
- Once the sugar is fully dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool down completely.
- When the syrup is cold, pour it into your container and put it in the fridge. And that is already it. Your syrup is done and will usually last around 3-4 weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
When properly sealed and refrigerated, it lasts 2-3 weeks. By adding a shot of Vodka, you can extend shelf life to 4-5 weeks.
Yes, you can freeze a standard 1:1 simple syrup. But if you do and want to use it, plan enough time to thaw it.
Yes, you can use this syrup for desserts, to sweeten coffee, tea, and even lemonade.
Simple syrup is a liquid sweetener made by dissolving sugar in water. It brings sweetness to cocktails and balances the tart and acidic flavors of fresh lime or lemon juice.
Bartenders use all kinds of syrups. The most common ones are simple syrup (1:1 ratio) and rich syrup (2:1 ratio).
One comment on “How to Make Simple Syrup for Cocktails”
Thank you for the good writeup. It was super easy to make, I'll never buy syrup again!