How to make simple syrup

Picture of How to make simple syrup
Want to learn how to make simple syrup? It's easy! It takes very little time to throw together, you can flavor it in tons of ways, and it keeps well in the fridge for months.

Simple syrup is a great addition to mixed drinks, tea, and coffee! It's perfect for sweetening cold drinks where regular sugar wouldn't normally dissolve with ease.

In this instructable, I'll teach you how to make simple syrup and how to flavor it. I'll show you the right ratio of sugar and water so that the syrup you make will always turn out just right. The photos above shown lemon-ginger and ginger-peppercorn simple syrup. They're my favorites. :D
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Step 1: Ingredients!

Picture of Ingredients!
The classic simple syrup ratio is 1 part water to 1 part sugar, in other words:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
In this case, I'm doing 2 cups of each - I was running low. :D

You can also flavor your syrup in many many ways. If something goes well with sweets, it will flavor simple syrup nicely! Consider trying some of these:
  • cinnamon sticks
  • whole cloves
  • cardamom pods (yums!)
  • lemon/lime/orange/grapefruit zest
  • lavendar
  • basil
  • ginger
  • vanilla bean
  • peppercorns
  • chili peppers, fresh or dried
  • any sort of fruit you like!
My personal favorites are lemon and ginger. As an added bonus, you get yummy lemon zest and ginger to eat once you're done!

Step 2: Boiling!

Picture of Boiling!
To make the simple syrup, combine your desired amounts of sugar and water together in a small saucepan. Bring this to a boil.

It'll be grainy at first, and then cloudy. When it's ready, the syrup will be totally clear!

Step 3: Flavoring!

Picture of Flavoring!
There are two ways to go about this, so you can pick whichever you like. Both of them work great, but I prefer method #2. Makes your house smell fantastic and the flavors are a bit better. :D
  1. Turn off the heat, add in your chosen flavorings and stir. Let it steep for at least 10 minutes or until it's room temperature - I think the longer the better, but it's good for you to taste and decide. This method works best for things that are super potent, like cloves or cinnamon.
  2. Turn the heat down to low, add in your chosen flavorings and simmer for at least a half hour. Stir it occasionally, but you don't need to babysit it too much. This is perfect for zest strips, thinly sliced ginger, and chilis - things you would like to eat later.

Step 4: Straining and storing!

Picture of Straining and storing!
Once your simple syrup is room temperature, you'll need to strain it. If you put in any sort of citrus zest or ginger, they can be left on a sheet of parchment paper to dry - they're delicious! I actually ate all of my ginger and lemon while taking photos. :P

Sometimes I'll strain right into the jar, sometimes I'll strain into a large measuring cup and pour it into the jar. It all depends on how much simple syrup you have, how "pourable" your pan is, and how messy you're feeling. If you have a big funnel that works too! I only have a teeny one so it was no help and only sat around and judged me as I made a mess.

I prefer to keep my simple syrup in glass jars because glass won't absorb the flavors like plastic will so you can use the jars over and over. I just clean up ones I get from the store.

Simple syrup will keep in the fridge up to six months, and if you only make small batches as you need it, you'll never need to worry about it spoiling!

Enjoy your simple syrup!

MaggieH412 days ago

Do you need to strain if you are not adding any flavoring to it?

Ps - REALLY appreciate the instructions!

jessyratfink (author)  MaggieH412 days ago

Nope! As soon as the sugar dissolves in plain simple syrup you are good to go. :)

Neat!! Thank you!! ?
JordanC4 made it!15 days ago
Thank you for the instructables! Just made some black berry syrup from fresh berries in my back yard :) I did 2 2cup batches. I didnt account for the berry juice so I boiled the second batch a little more rapidly to reduce it. TASTES GREAT!
jruder made it!25 days ago
Thank you for posting this! I infuse mine with cherries and it turned out great. I also used an old whiskey bottle for storage which worked great as well.
1renoir5 months ago

This is super helpful! I thought I would start keeping simple syrup in the fridge for fresh tea and lemonade. I never considered that the syrup could be custom-made with flavors! Thank you so much for this wonderful instructable!

jdixon177 months ago
We made a cream soda syrup for the Soda Stream. Yummy.
Markdaman91 year ago
:D This instructable made me smile! time to go make some simple syrup i guess!
SKUser452 years ago
Would you recommend adding citrus fruit by squeezing, cutting or slicing them? Or just zesting? I'm tempted to do all 3.

What luck - Fresh Lime Soda is my all-time favorite & I happen to have fresh Key limes. Definitely going to try this tomorrow. Thanks!
cattyb2 years ago
What a kewel way to "candy" citrus peels and fresh herbs while making what I consider a kitchen staple!
I usually make a huge batch and divide it -- 1/3 flavored with creme de menthe candy "oil" (concentrated flavors can be found near cake decorating in most hobby/craft stores) to use in tea or coffee...or drizzle over pound cake (totally removing all the calories first, of course!), 1/3 I'll use cinnamon oil or simmer cinnamon sticks in for the kiddo that loves cinnamon in his coffee, and I leave the last third plain or use one of the other dozen or so family faves (butter rum, vanilla bean, orange/lemon) depending on the season.
londobali2 years ago
nicely done..

I wonder how would the chili peppers taste like..

I'd make it with rock-sugar though... less processed compared to normal sugar, and cheaper around here.. :)

oh.. and i like the map-table too...
jessyratfink (author)  londobali2 years ago
Good idea doing with rock sugar. I used the last of mine months ago and never bought more - maybe I'll have to soon! :)

And thank you!
ejarrell2 years ago
Cute! I like the maps! :)
jessyratfink (author)  ejarrell2 years ago
Thank you! :)
canucksgirl2 years ago
Great tutorial (er... Instructable!). Cardamom and Vanilla Bean would be heavenly. Thanks for sharing, I think I'll make some this weekend. :)
jessyratfink (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
Oh, that does sound good. I really need to get more cardamom. :D
slylee2 years ago
Very nice! this will make my mojitos much more tasty!