skip to main content

If you make cocktails, mocktails, or coffee drinks at home, you'll find that "simple syrup" is a common ingredient.

Simple syrups are just that: simple! At base, you just need to dissolve sugar into an equal-ish quantity of water. That leaves plenty of room for experimentation, and pretty much every result will be a good one.

Base Simple Syrup Recipe

This will get you about a pint of simple syrup, perfect for a mason jar:

  • 250ml water
  • 250g sugar (any kind)

I just add those to a pot and heat it up until dissolved. Or boil the water first and dump it into a jar of sugar. Then let it cool and store it in the fridge.

You can use any kind of sugar you want! I typically use about half plain-white sugar and half demerara or brown sugar. Different sugars will give you different sweetness levels, but you can just add more or less of the syrup to whatever you're making to accommodate the differences.

Flavored Simple syrups

Depending on the flavor you want, you can add stuff while the syrup is hot (as if you are brewing a tea) or after it's cooled. And you can either remove the ingredient before storing, or leave it in to let the flavor continue getting stronger. It all depends on what you're using for flavor.

Here are my favorites:

Ginger Simple Syrup

For a low-intensity ginger flavor, you can cut up a bunch of ginger, add it to the pot while making the syrup, and leaving it in during storage.

For a high-intensity flavor, you can juice some ginger and add the juice to the syrup before you store it. This approach is nice because you can taste your syrup after adding the ginger juice, and make it exactly as intense as you want.

Cardamom Simple Syrup

I love the smell of cardamom. I can't have enough of it. I use it as a simple syrup flavor by crushing a bunch of cardamom pods, adding them to a tea infuser, and dropping the infuser into the simple syrup while it's still hot.

I leave the infuser in the syrup until it's all used up, so the cardamom scent gets stronger the whole time.

The more cardamom you add the stronger the flavor, of course. I add as much as will fit in my tea infuser.

Rosemary Simple Syrup

Like cardamom, rosemary also smells amazing. It works surprisingly well in combination with lots of other flavors, even though I typically think of it as something for savory food dishes.

Rosemary simple syrup is a little finicky compared to the other two, since it'll get bitter if you steep it too long. I toss lots of fresh rosemary into the pot while I'm dissolving my simple syrup, leave it in while it's cooling, and then filter out the rosemary for storage by pouring through a strainer.