Rosemary Simple Syrup

Give your drinks the heavenly aroma and flavor of fresh rosemary by adding Rosemary Simple Syrup. Use this herb-infused sweetener to flavor cocktails, tea and even desserts.

a jar of rosemary simple syrup

They say scent memories are some of the strongest. I have to agree because I will never forget the smell of the rosemary bushes outside my aunt’s house.

She has an entire garden bed dedicated to this fragrant herb — smelling it always makes me think of her.

Rosemary is commonly used in cooking savory dishes, from pizza dough to pasta dishes.

However, its herbaceous scent and flavor is equally welcome in sweet recipes, like shortbread cookies and cocktails!

fresh rosemary in a jar of simple syrup

Rosemary simple syrup recipe

The best way to bring rosemary flavor to a cocktail is by using a homemade rosemary simple syrup.

Made with just three ingredients, this fragrant syrup is a welcome infusion that will elevate your drinks with herbal flavor. The best part is you can make it as mild or intense as you like.

All you need to do is combine sugar, water and rosemary in a medium saucepan. You’ll also need a wooden spoon, a wire-mesh strainer or slotted spoon, and a jar or bottle to store it in.

I use this syrup in this rosemary champagne cocktail which highlights the rosemary with a bubbly, dry prosecco.

rosemary sprigs resting in a jar of syrup

What is simple syrup?

Simple syrup is a homemade sweetener for drinks and sweet treats. It’s as simple as its name denotes — all you need is equal parts sugar and water.

It is easy to flavor simple syrup with infusions from herbs, fruits and spices, like this cinnamon simple syrup, and when used in drinks the syrup imparts this additional flavor.

Also called sugar syrup, it is called for lots of cocktail recipes, like the old-fashioned and the margarita. It is one of the easiest ways to sweeten cold drinks because regular sugar dissolves too slowly.

It is also often used in hot tea and coffee drinks, like lattes and cappuccinos, because the liquid form doesn’t take as much stirring to blend into the drink to dissolve pure sugar.

Cake bakers sometimes use simple syrup to flavor and moisten cakes before frosting them.

sugar, water and fresh rosemary

Ingredients

Here’s are the simple ingredients you’ll need to pick up at the grocery store to make this easy rosemary syrup:

Sugar

Granulated sugar (white sugar) and cane sugar are my top picks for making my own simple syrup because they create a clear simple syrup which I prefer for most cocktails.

Brown sugar can be used instead; however, it will give off its caramel color, which is less than ideal for pretty, clear drinks like a mojito.

If you like, you can substitute honey to make a rosemary honey simple syrup. Would be so delicious!

Water

You’ll need as much water as you use sugar.

I prefer to use filtered water if possible, especially for syrups since it is one of the main ingredients. (We use this Soma water pitcher.)

You can boil the water first to use in your syrup to eliminate impurities. (I don’t like to boil my syrup the water evaporates and you’ll end up with a thicker syrup — and less of it.)

Fresh Rosemary

If you have rosemary growing in your herb garden, feel free to use that! I love having one on hand because they are so hearty and last all year long for summer and winter cooking alike.

This syrup is a great way to use up rosemary you may have bought for another recipe, like these rosemary drop biscuits.

Otherwise, fresh rosemary should be available in the produce section of your local grocery store or at your local farmers market. Usually, it is stored in plastic clamshell packaging. You will need about 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, but more or less is okay.

Flavor Tip

Just before dropping it into your syrup infusion, hold a fresh rosemary sprig in one hand and clap your other hand on top of it to “spank” it. This releases essential oils and fragrances from the rosemary leaves for a more aromatic syrup.

a black measuring cup pouring sugar into a pot of water on the stove

How to make rosemary syrup

Your rosemary simple syrup will come together in just a few steps:

  1. Measure equal parts sugar and water. (For example, if you use 1 cup water, use 1 cup sugar.)
  2. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir them together until combined.
  3. Remove from heat. No need to boil it!
  4. Add your rosemary sprigs while the mixture is hot.
  5. Let the sprigs steep for 15 minutes, or until the syrup has the strength of rosemary flavor you love. You can even leave the sprigs in overnight to impart more flavor. Use a slotted spoon or fine mesh strainer to remove the sprigs and discard them.
  6. Let the mixture cool down fully to room temperature, then pour your cooled syrup into a bottle, mason jar or other airtight container and store it in the fridge or use it in cocktails, iced tea and coffee immediately!
rosemary infusing in simple syrup in a mixing bowl

Uses for rosemary simple syrup

You can use rosemary simple syrup to sweeten alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks alike. It is an easy way to sweeten coffee drinks, make rosemary lemonade or iced tea or mix it into a boozy cocktail.

For cocktails, it works with a variety of flavors. Try this rosemary Moscow mule which uses the syrup as a great addition to sweet and spicy ginger beer.

The woodsy flavor of rosemary complements fruit flavors, especially citrus flavors like grapefruit or lemon juice. Try it in a grapefruit rosemary gimlet or a pineapple rosemary whiskey smash. At the holidays, make this cranberry rosemary old-fashioned.

It is the perfect way to change up classic recipes in which other herbs typically shine. Try rosemary instead of or in addition to mint in a classic julep or a mojito.

Sometimes cake decorators use simple syrup to moisten baked cake before icing it or before refrigerating or freezing the layers.

a gold spoon in a jar of rosemary syrup

More simple syrup recipes

If you love this simple syrup (and I know you will!) I hope you will try some of my other simple syrups. They are the best recipes for stepping up your drink mixing game!

a jar of rosemary simple syrup

Rosemary Simple Syrup

Yield: ¾ cup
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Infusion Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Spruce up your drinks with this easy rosemary simple syrup made with fresh herbs.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Do not let boil.
  2. Remove from heat and add the rosemary sprigs. Let rest for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave in longer for a stronger flavor. Discard the rosemary.
  3. Store in a mason jar for up to one week.

Notes

Just before dropping it into your syrup infusion, hold a fresh rosemary sprig in one hand and clap your other hand on top of it to “spank” it. This releases essential oils and fragrances from the rosemary leaves for a more aromatic syrup.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 ounce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 0g

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