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Simple Syrup

The sweetener is an important element in many different drinks. Leaving it out affects the entire drink, and adding too much can do the same.

simple syrup in bottle with jigger and cocktail shaker

The perfect balance of sweet in your drink, from the Mojito to the Margarita, separates an average drink from the one that your guests will go home talking about.

So how do you achieve that perfect, balanced sweetener? It’s actually quite easy. You can make the best simple syrup right from the comfort of your kitchen.

Make It Yourself

When you buy your liquid sweetener at a liquor store or specialty grocery store, you can expect to spend a decent amount of money for what will only make a few drinks.

However, when you make it at home, you’ll save money, trips to the grocery store, and can have it ready in just a few minutes.

This recipe is simple, requires just two ingredients, and will be free of any additives. You’ll be able to make the purest sweetener, and your drinks will taste that much better.

simple syrup in bottle with jigger and cocktail shaker

Simple Syrup

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

To make this perfect sweetener, you’ll need a medium saucepan, measuring cups, a glass jar or container to store your syrup in, and a funnel.


  • 1 cup of filtered water
  • 1 cup of cane sugar


  1. Begin by adding one cup of water to your saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Once your water is heated, add one cup of sugar.
  3. Stir the sugar until it dissolves.
  4. Allow the syrup to cool until it reaches room temperature.
  5. Once cooled, transfer your syrup to a glass container for storage.

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If you’re feeling bold, experimental, or creative, you can take this recipe and give it a twist.

Sweet Demerara Syrup with Sugar for Cocktails

Making a Richer Syrup

For a richer syrup, as some recipes call for, you can mix two parts sugar to one part water. This version of the syrup that follows a 2:1 ratio requires the same method; it just delivers a different taste and texture to certain drinks.

Bartenders often use a thicker syrup to add texture and to create a more dramatic taste. Having both of these syrups on hand will give you the option to experiment and create different variations of your favorite drinks.

Brown Sugar Simple Syrup

To make a simple brown syrup, simply substitute brown sugar for cane sugar.

Infusing Other Flavors

You can also make a simple honey syrup with the same ratios, and even attempt to make a coconut sugar syrup.

To add a citrus flavor to your syrup, simply add citrus zest to the original recipe for a unique flavor. You can also add different spices to change your drink flavors when needed.

The Beauty of DIY Syrup

When you opt to make your sweetener at home, you’ll save money, avoid trips to the store, and you’ll get to experiment with different flavors to create some new and unique cocktails.

This process is fool-proof, easy, and affordable. Once you see for yourself just how convenient this process really is, you’ll never go back to the store-bought version again.


What is the ratio for making simple syrup?

To make simple syrup, use a 1:1 ratio of water to sugar. Heat the water and stir in the sugar until it’s fully dissolved and you’ll have simple syrup!

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Should you boil simple syrup?

No, you don’t need to boil simple syrup. You can bring the water to a boil before adding the sugar, but once sugar is added you should cook at a low heat.

If you boil the simple syrup, the water will begin to cook off and the sugar will burn or turn into caramel.

Heating the water helps to dissolve the sugar faster, but you could make simple syrup without any heat at all – it will just take longer for the sugar to full dissolve.

What is the difference between 1:1 and 2:1 simple syrup?

Simple syrup made with a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water is sweeter and more concentrated. Some bartenders prefer to use a 2:1 ratio because they can use less, so cocktails will be less diluted by the water content of the syrup.

Should simple syrup be thick or thin?

Simple syrup should be relatively thin and easy to pour and shake into cocktails. For a point of reference, simple syrup should be thinner than maple syrup. A rich simple syrup will be thicker than a standard 1:1 simple syrup.

How long does simple syrup last in a mason jar?

If refrigerated in a sealed jar, simple syrup should last up to 3 weeks.

Can you overcook simple syrup?

Yes, you can overcook simple syrup. It should be cooked at a low heat – at a high heat or at boiling, the water will cook off and the sugar will begin to caramelize and thicken.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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