Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is a common ingredient in drink recipes, whether you’re making cocktails or iced coffee. Don’t be tempted by bottled sweeteners; if you can boil water, you can make simple syrup. It’s an easy step but an important one. By dissolving granulated sugar in hot water before adding it to cold beverages, you ensure an even distribution of sweetness without any gritty crystals left in the bottom of the glass. Here’s a go-to recipe that will keep refrigerated for a month.

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  • Servings: makes about 1 1/2 cups

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How to Make Perfect Simple Syrup


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

How to make this recipe

  1. In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil; simmer until the sugar is dissolved, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

Make Ahead

The syrup can be refrigerated in a glass jar for up to 1 month. If you need to store it longer, it can also be frozen.


Simple syrup is also fantastic when flavored or spiced. Try cinnamon syrup, lemon-thyme syrup, rosemary syrup, vanilla syrup and a concentrated demerara sugar rich syrup, which has a rich molasses flavor. If you need to make larger quantities, stick with the easy 1:1 ratio of water to sugar.

Serve With

Try it in a Blackberry Collins cocktail, sangria recipes and other party-ready pitcher drinks. It's also ideal for iced tea, coffee, and homemade sodas. Add a tea bag directly to the syrup for an elegant Jasmine Syrup. For a quick dessert, add plain or flavored simple syrup to a citrus salad or a bowl of berries topped with fluffy whipped cream. Some bakers like to use simple syrup on layer cakes to help keep them moist. Just make sure to brush or sprinkle it on the cake in moderation to avoid making the layers too sweet or too soggy.

Published June 2006

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