Simple Syrup – Perfect For Cocktails!

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This easy-to-make simple syrup recipe can be used to sweeten drinks or to add moisture to cakes and other desserts. It’s perfect for sweetening cocktails, coffee, iced tea, lemonade, and Aguas Frescas.

Simple syrup is a kitchen and bar staple that can easily be made at home. Why buy it when it’s so inexpensive to make at home? 

3 types of simple syrup

What You’ll Need

You only need a few ingredients. I’m sure you already have them in your kitchen right now. .

  • Sugar. Fine granulated white cane sugar. Other varieties call for demerara sugar or honey.
  • Water. Use filtered tap water or bottled water. 

Uses For Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is a simple mixture of sugar and water. Depending on your recipe, there is a different sugar ratio to water. You can also switch the sugar types used to get more nuanced flavors.

Simple Syrup 1:1

A 1:1 syrup is made by dissolving equal parts of sugar into the water. This ratio is used to create a soak for cake and is a common way to add moistness to cakes.

This is a handy kitchen hack if you have a cake that might be too dry. You can brush the cake with a layer or two of syrup, adding a rich moistness to the cake.

Rock Candy Syrup

This richer sugar syrup used for cocktails uses two parts sugar to one part water. This ratio is commonly used to sweeten cocktails. Use this ratio to add sweetness to any cocktail recipe.

rock candy syrup in a bottle

Light Simple Syrup

You can make a leaner syrup by reducing the ratio of sugar to water. Anything leaner than a one-to-one sugar ratio to water is a light syrup.

Nectar For Hummingbirds

Smithsonian’s National Zoo recommends mixing one part sugar with four parts water to make hummingbird nectar. You can also use a richer nectar made with one part sugar and three parts water during the spring and fall migration seasons.

Demerara Sugar Syrup

Demerara sugar is richly flavored brown sugar. It has a caramel flavor that pairs nicely with many bourbon cocktails. I use this simple syrup for Old Fashioned Cocktails.

Honey Syrup

Honey syrup can also be used in some recipes. The honey adds more flavor to cocktails or tea than a syrup made with simple white sugar.

Infused Simple Syrups

Infused or flavored syrups are made by steeping an herb in the sugar syrup to add flavor to the plain sugar syrup. You can infuse flavor with almost anything imaginable. Berries, herbs, spices, flowers, chili peppers.

The combinations are only limited by your imagination.

Common infused flavors include:

  • mint
  • lemongrass
  • citrus
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Add the sugar to a saucepan, and then add the water. 
  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat. Warm and stir until the sugar is dissolved. You don’t want the mixture to boil because you will lose water. This water loss can lead to the crystallization of the syrup. Especially in the rock candy syrup. 
  3. Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. 

How to Stabilize A Sugar Syrup

You can stabilize a sugar syrup by adding a little bit of glucose, corn syrup, or glycerin. Adding 1 to 3 teaspoons of glycerin syrup will stabilize sugar.

Glycerin acts as a humectant and prevents moisture loss which helps to prevent crystallization when making simple syrup, caramel, fudge, or cakes.

How to Store

Store in an airtight glass jar in the fridge. You can use a mason jar or another type of glass bottle. 

Recipes To Try

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simple syrup recipes

Simple Syrup

This easy-to-make simple syrup recipe can be used to sweeten drinks or to add moisture to cakes and other desserts. It’s perfect for sweetening cocktails, coffee, iced tea, lemonade, and Aguas Frescas.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 48 teaspoons
Calories 94 kcal



Simple Syrup [1:1}

  • 1 cup caster sugar, fine white sugar
  • 1 cup water

Rich Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup caster sugar, fine white sugar
  • ½ cup water

Light Simple Syrup

  • ½ cup caster sugar, fine white sugar
  • 1 cup water

Demerara Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup demerara sugar
  • ½ cup water

Honey Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup water

Humming Bird Nectar

  • 1 cup sugar (affiliate link)
  • 3 to 4 cups water


  • Add the sugar and the water to a medium saucepan.
    1 cup caster sugar, 1 cup water
  • Heat on medium-high. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is just dissolved.
  • Cool the simple syrup completely.
  • Store in a glass contatiner in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.


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Serving: 1teaspoonCalories: 94kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 0.02gFat: 0.05gSodium: 2mgFiber: 0.01gSugar: 24gCalcium: 2mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword simple syrup
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