How to Make Simple Syrup

by | Jul 30, 2020 | All, Batch Cocktails, Tequila, Tips, Vodka

Simple Syrup is a staple ingredient for any well stocked home bar. Once you learn how easy it is to make at home, you will never buy it again!

2 mason jars filled with simple syrup on a dark background. Lid of mason jar on side for sealing and a dark plate covered with granulated sugar is in the background with a gold spoon for scooping.

Simple syrup is exactly what is sounds like: a basic syrup made with granulated sugar and water. 

Ways to Use It

The most common way simple syrup is used is for cocktails. It’s used in so many great drinks that it’s a staple for any home bar.

Although it’s readily available at any grocery store, once you find out how easy it is to make, you’ll never need to rush out to buy it for your favorite drink again.

Lemon drop martini, anyone?

But simple syrup is not just for cocktails. You can also use it to make homemade lemonade, sweet tea, or even as a flavorful dressing for fruit salads.

Mason jar filled with simple syrup with a plate of granulated sugar in background and a lid for sealing jar.

Best sweetener for cocktails

There’s a reason that so many cocktails use simple syrup: it’s easy to mix with nearly anything.

Yes, you can use regular sugar in your drinks, but dissolving sugar in liquids can be tricky, especially cold liquids.

If you don’t stir, whisk or shake enough, you end up with a sugar sludge at the bottom of your glass or shaker and an unevenly flavored cocktail (too tart or too sweet).

Labeled Raw sugar on a black plate and labeled granulated sugar with a gold spoon for scooping on a dark charcoal background.on a black plate

Types of Sugar

The type of sugar you use will impact your syrup’s flavor.

The most common simple syrup is made with regular granulated white sugar. This gives it a clear color and mild sweetness (and what you see bottled at the grocery store).

But you can also make brown simple syrups. Swap the granulated sugar for Turbinado (raw) sugar and you’ll get a richer syrup with a hint of caramel flavor (perfect for those fall and winter drinks!)


Simple syrup is made with 2 ingredients: sugar + water.

Pick your sugar
Place sugar and water in pan
Boil until sugar is dissolved
Cool and store
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Best way to store

We love to use mason jars to store simple syrup after we have made it, but you can also use any other glass jar or bottle or even a plastic food storage container.

The only important tip is to cool and seal tightly before refrigerating. 

Close up image of mason jar filled with simple syrup. Plate of granulated sugar in background with gold spoon for scooping.

Refrigerator Life

Even though simple syrup comes together in minutes, it’s nice to be able to pull it out of the refrigerator when you want a fun cocktail. We always have a batch of it in the fridge ready to go. After all, Taco Tuesday is way more fun with a margarita.

Plain simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.

But why settle for just plain simple syrup?

Fresh basil, rosemary, thyme and mint leaves on a black cutting board.

Infused simple syrup

Not only is simple syrup super easy to make, you can also infuse it with any number of herbs (or even fruits!) to give it a subtle but unique taste.

Basil, mint and rosemary syrups are a few of our favorite ways to update a classic cocktail with a seasonal twist. 

Simple syrup in a stainless steel sauce pan on a black burner with fresh rosemary in pan to be infused.

Follow these steps to make an infused simple syrup:

  1. Add granulated sugar and water to a medium pan.
  2. Heat until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in a fistful of fresh herb leaves.
  4. Let herbs steep in syrup for 1 hour.
  5. Strain and refrigerate infused syrup in a mason jar until ready to use. 
Glass measuring cup filled with simple syrup and fresh rosemary.

These cocktail recipes use infused simple syrup to add subtle flavor:

Pinterest image for How to Make Simple Syrup with 2 mason jars filled with simple syrup on a dark background with a plate of granulated sugar in the background.

Margarita Recipes

Looking for more ways to use your simple syrup? You can’t go wrong with a margarita!

Yield: 1 cup

How to Make Simple Syrup

2 mason jars filled with simple syrup on a dark background. Lid of mason jar on side for sealing and a dark plate covered with granulated sugar is in the background with a gold spoon for scooping.

Simple syrup is easy to make at home and only uses 2 ingredients!

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes


  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water


  1. Place sugar and water in small sauce pan over medium heat. Heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove from heat and cool completely. Store in refrigerator.


To make infused simple syrup:

Add 1 cup of fresh herbs when you remove the syrup from the heat. Let herbs steep for one hour. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and store in refrigerator.

Shelf life:

Plain simple syrup will keep in refrigerator for one month while infused simple syrups should be used within 2 weeks.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/2 ounce

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 48Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 0g

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It’s easy to learn How to Make Simple Syrup. You only need 2 ingredients and 10 minutes to make this essential cocktail ingredient at home!

We're the creative juices behind Garnish with Lemon. In the past 8 years, millions of people have sipped & snacked on our recipes. Need easy, delicious party food and drinks for your next shindig? You’ve come to the right place.

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About Lisa

Hi, I’m Lisa! Looking for the party? It’s probably at my house. Nothing brings me more joy than sharing good food with friends and family. That and a seriously good cocktail.


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