Introduction: How to Make Simple Syrup

About: Hi! I'm a slightly feral mountain hermit that likes to be helpful. I do community management at Instructables & Tinkercad. 🙌 Want to hear me chat about making? Search "CLAMP Podcast" on YouTube or your favorit…

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

Step 1: 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!

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!

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!

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!