How to Make Simple Syrup




About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

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

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

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!

3 People Made This Project!


  • Meal Prep Challenge

    Meal Prep Challenge
  • Reuse Contest

    Reuse Contest
  • Made with Math Contest

    Made with Math Contest

25 Discussions


3 years ago

isnt it supposed to be sticky afterwards?? im trying to use it for pancakes

Connie TaggartK

3 years ago

Thanks for the recipe. I always buy candied ginger from the health food store. I think I'll be making my own from now on. My mom used to use orange peels to make for candy for her 8 kids. We loved them. Thanks again !!!


4 years ago

My Mom made mint syrup from mint growing in a whisky barrel in our back yard. We used it to sweeten unsweet tea and for making " mahvulous"...simply mahvulous" mint julips...being that we lived in Kentucky so it was a requirement at Derby time for sure. We added the mint after syrup had pretty much cooled by sitting off burner for awhile and always left at least one stem in the jar with the syrup when we refrigerated it. I have a small family of 3 so I only make a pint at a time and 4 or 5 sprigs of the mint does fine for me. I came from a family of 10 kids and Mom and Dad so a quart was made practically every week. There was always some in the fridge. FYI...if you decide to grow your own mint ...and I it in a big container/pot and keep trimmed back it is very invasive and will take over your yard if you plant it directly in the garden. My pot has a lovely scent that I enjoy each time I walk out my front door ! Enjoy!


4 years ago on Introduction

Can simple syrup be made with Splenda instead of sugar?


4 years ago on Introduction

I made the simple syrup and added peanut butter to it when it was still warm. The peanut butter looks grainy and it has separated. Is there any way I can keep it from separating ?

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Probably not - peanut butter is full of oil, so I don't think there's any way the syrup will mix with it properly since it's mostly water.


4 years ago on Introduction

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

Ps - REALLY appreciate the instructions!

2 replies

4 years ago on Step 4

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!


4 years ago

We made a cream soda syrup for the Soda Stream. Yummy.


6 years ago on Introduction

:D This instructable made me smile! time to go make some simple syrup i guess!


6 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!


6 years ago on Introduction

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.


7 years ago on Introduction

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.. :)

2 replies

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

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!