How to make Simple Syrup for Cocktails and more

How to make simple syrup - sugar syrup recipe -

Have you ever come a cross a recipe or cocktail that calls for the ingredient Simple Syrup and wondered “what the hell is that?”

Well I’m here to tell you all about this magic ingredient that is so versatile you’ll want to use it all the time.

What is Simple Syrup?

Simple syrup is essentially a sugar solution – just sugar boiled in water until it dissolves. Sometimes called Sugar Syrup or Basic Simple Syrup, it has many uses.

It’s a super useful way to sweeten drinks, cocktails and other recipes where it’s not convenient to add granulated sugar.

You can also use it in baking to moisten cakes, glaze fruit or make sorbets.

How to make simple syrup - sugar syrup recipe -

I like having some on hand to sweeten homemade lemonade and iced tea. It is perfect for sweetening your cold drinks where regular sugar wouldn’t normally dissolve with ease.

Simple syrup really comes in handy for making cocktails – it’s a bartenders best friend as most cocktail recipes use simple syrup as a sweetening agent.  I’ve made this batch for some delicious fall cocktail recipes.

It’s very easy to make, the basic recipe is 1 part sugar to 1 part water. The finished product is very slightly viscous but not as thick as maple syrup or honey.

Syrups keep well for a month or even longer when stored in the fridge in a well sealed container.

In my previous career as a pharmacist we used to make and use Simple Syrup to sweeten extemporaneously compounded liquid medicines for children and patients that couldn’t swallow tablets. I much prefer it in cocktails though!

simple syrup recipe

Making Flavoured Syrups

If you are feeling creative add flavourings like lemon peel, herbs or even lavender to make a delicious flavored simple syrup.

Here are some flavouring ideas:

  • Lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit zest
  • Whole cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean (split open the beans,) cloves, cardamom pods, star anis.
  • lavender, basil leaves, mint leaves, rosemary sprigs, lemongrass.
  • ginger root (peeled and cut into rounds or coarsely chopped)

Just add the flavoring (of your choice) once the water and sugar are done boiling and removed from the heat source. Let sit approximately 20 to 30 minutes to infuse the Simple Syrup.  Strain out the flavoring before using or bottling. You can also simmer the flavorings when the sugar and water boil.

You may also enjoy:

simple syrup recipe

How to make simple syrup - sugar syrup recipe -

Simple Syrup for Cocktails

Yield: 1.5 cups
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes

Simple Syrup has many uses. Sweeten drinks, cocktails and other recipes where it’s not convenient to add granulated sugar. Easy to make with only 2 ingredients.


  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Combine sugar and boiling water in a small saucepan.
  2. Warm on a low heat while stirring to dissolve sugar.
  3. Simmer gently for about 1 minute and then turn off heat.
  4. Pour into a clean jar or bottle and leave to cool.
  5. The mixture will thicken slightly on cooling.


For flavoured syrup, add citrus rind or herbs to warm syrup. Remove extra ingredients once cooled.

Store refrigerated.

Will keep for about 1 month.

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