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Simple Syrup

Simple Syrup, or sugar water, in some ways, is a liquid sweetener that helps liven up cocktails with ingredients that aren’t traditionally sweet.

Simple Syrup
Simple Syrup

This sugar syrup is a bartender’s best friend. The best part is that you don’t need to buy it at the store because Homemade Simple Syrup is easy to make.

You can even add it to your non-alcoholic iced tea or iced coffee in the summer, that’s how handy have a mason jar full of Simple Syrup is around the house.

But you know why you’re really here, you need the sweetener for your favorite drink recipes. And for us, our favorite beach cocktail recipes.

How to Make Simple Syrup

Crafting a rich simple syrup doesn’t take finesse. You aren’t making a Soufflé, or even a Mai Tai for that matter.

The total time that it takes to make this DIY sweetener is about 5 minutes. But that’s just the dissolving part. It will take another 5-25 minutes to cool down, depending on exactly how high you turned up the heat on your stovetop.

  1. Step One. Add equal parts water and sugar - so 1 cup sugar and 1 cup of water - to a saucepan on low to medium heat. Do not boil.
  2. Step Two. Keep stirring until all of the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Step Three. Allow the basic simple syrup time to cool to room temperature.
  4. Step Four. Use immediately or store it in the airtight container / glass jar for future use.
  5. Step Five. Clean up the saucepan and stow the sugar back in the lazy susan.

Common Alcoholic Cocktails that use Simple Syrup

  • Margarita
  • Mint Julep
  • Mojito
  • Strawberry Daiquiris
  • Whiskey Sour

Simple Syrup Alternatives for Cocktails

Many sweeteners exist both in nature and on the shelf already. If you find that a cocktail recipe calls for Simple Syrup and you’re all out, look toward the common pantry items below to serve as a replacement.

To be frank, we prefer fresh Agave to Simple Syrup when it comes to all Tequila drinks. This also sometimes applies when we are using Orange Liqueurs.

  • Agave
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Stevia

Simple Syrup FAQs

What is the Shelf Life of Simple Syrup

The shelf life of Simple Syrup is between 3-4 weeks. So if you think you’re going to enjoy some cold drinks in a few weeks, don’t fret, the syrup will keep.

What is the Best Type of Sugar to use?

The original Simple Syrup recipe calls for white granulated sugar to be used when making Simple Syrup.

However, you could make a Simple Syrup with Demerara sugar. Demerara sugar is rich and earthy and contains minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium. It’s a less processed version of sugar.

You could also try making a basic syrup with Turbinado sugar.

And then there’s always brown sugar. But at that point, we are getting into molasses territory. Fun fact - you can use Brown Sugar Simple Syrup almost as a Maple Syrup substitute on your french toast.

What Types of Simple Syrup could I make?

The mixing and matching of fruit, herb and spice syrups is an endless rabbit hole.

You could add vanilla extract or vanilla bean. You could add Cinnamon, Honey, Maple Syrup and more. Orange, lime and lemon peels also come to mind.

Flavored Simple Syrups are the easiest way to craft cocktails from the comfort of your own kitchen. Plus, they’re easy recipes to follow, given the low amount of ingredients and prep work necessary.

Editor’s Note - If you’re going down the Cinnamon route, try to heavily grate the Cinnamon Sticks to achieve a very fine dust.

Examples of Flavored Simple Syrup
  • Demerara Simple Syrup
  • Honey Syrup
  • Raspberry Syrup
  • Vanilla Syrup

What is the Nutritional Information for Simple Syrup

Yes, Simple Syrup has carbs. And yes, it has calories. According to Stirrings, a maker of craft cocktail mixers, 1 fluid ounce of Simple Syrup contains 50 calories, coming from 14g of Total Carbohydrates and 14g of Sugar.


  1. Liquid Measuring Cup(s)
  2. Mason Jar
  3. Small Saucepan
  4. White Sugar
  5. Water


Ingredient Amount

Substitute Ingredients & Variations


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