Brown Sugar Simple Syrup

Sweeten your coffee, tea and cocktails with this tasty Brown Sugar Simple Syrup! It adds a complex palette of molasses, caramel and toffee to every sip.

a jar of brown sugar syrup with a cork

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Brown Sugar Simple Syrup recipe

There are few joys as simple as brown sugar in my coffee. Notes of toffee and caramel, sign me up for it in every single cup.

Adding brown sugar in simple syrup form makes it so much easier to sweeten drinks, rather than stirring it in. It’s especially wonderful for cold drinks, like iced lattes or iced tea, when adding pure sugar would take forever to dissolve.

Brown sugar syrup is also a key ingredient for brown sugar milk tea, which is a popular bubble tea flavor made with tapioca pearls, whole milk and brown sugar.

Why you’ll love this recipe

While you can buy brown sugar syrup, it’s a good idea to make it yourself and here’s why:

  • You can make this easy recipe in less than 10 minutes and it will keep in your fridge for a month.
  • Homemade brown sugar syrup is cheaper to make than a latte from a coffee shop. (And in less time, too!)
  • It stirs in easily to coffee drinks, tea drinks and cocktails. You can even drizzle it over pancakes, waffles, oatmeal and desserts.
a gold spoon and a bottle of brown sugar syrup

What is simple syrup?

Simple syrup is a liquid sweetener made from equal parts sugar and water.

It’s used primarily for sweetening drinks, but it can also be drizzled over desserts and pancakes. Bakers even use it to moisten cake before decorating it, which keeps it light and fresh-tasting.

Simple syrup can be flavored by using different sweeteners, such as brown sugar or honey, as well as infusing spices, fruits or herbs, like rosemary and jalapeño peppers.

brown sugar syrup ingredients


Brown sugar simple syrup is incredibly easy to make, as it’s made with only two simple ingredients. It’s so simple, but that’s why you want to use premium ingredients.

  • brown sugar
  • water

Best brown sugar

Brown sugar is different from white sugar in both its color and in the way it is produced. There are a number of types of brown sugar you can use in this recipe that will alter the color and flavor ever so slightly.

  • Light brown sugar is the most popular type, the one you are used to baking with. It is a combination of refined white sugar and a small amount of molasses.
  • Dark brown sugar, also known as old-fashioned brown sugar, is essentially light brown sugar with more molasses added. This one is also popular in baking recipes and has a deep caramel flavor.
  • Demerara sugar is a type of raw cane sugar, which is only minimally refined sugar. It has a bold, amber color with subtle flavors of molasses. Demerara syrup is a common ingredient in tiki cocktail recipes.
  • Turbinado sugar is another type of raw cane sugar that is minimally processed and has a lovely caramelized flavor.
  • Muscovado sugar has a sticky, sand-like texture with an earthy flavor.

No brown sugar? Try this brown sugar substitute that you can make from white sugar and molasses.

Best water for simple syrup

I prefer to use filtered water for my simple syrups because the pure, filtered state of the water helps the finished syrup last longer.

However, you can totally use bottled water, tap water or the water from your fridge.

You will need as many cups of water as you use sugar to make a runny syrup. This is the right consistency for many cocktails, coffee and tea.

However, for a thick syrup, use a 1.5:1 or 2:1 ratio instead. For example, try 1½ or 2 cups sugar to 1 cup water. (A thicker syrup is ideal for adding “tiger stripes” to the inside of the glass when making brown sugar bubble tea.)

a jar of brown sugar simple syrup

How to make Brown Sugar Simple Syrup

You can make your own brown sugar syrup in just a few easy steps.

  1. Pour brown sugar and cold water into a small saucepan.
  2. Turn up the heat to medium-high and stir until the sugar dissolves into the hot water. Don’t let it boil.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  4. You can use it immediately if desired. Let cool completely before storing in a food-safe, airtight bottle, such as a mason jar or other airtight container.

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to one month. If it begins to appear cloudy, discard and make a new batch. Now you know the cooking process only takes a few minutes!


You can use another type of sugar to make simple syrup, such as honey, but it wouldn’t be brown sugar simple syrup unless you use a type of brown sugar.

You can use either light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, which will affect the taste slightly. Dark brown sugar will have more molasses flavor than its counterpart.

See the section above about brown sugar to learn more about the different types.


This brown sugar syrup is easy to customize with different flavors:

  • Vanilla syrup: Add a splash of vanilla extract to make this more like a Starbucks coffee syrup.
  • Cinnamon syrup: Cook the syrup with a cinnamon stick or two and let them infuse for about half an hour after you remove it from the heat.
  • Spiced syrup: Add a mixture of spices including cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, ginger root, citrus peel and star anise to make a spiced syrup with a lovely depth of flavor.
a gold spoon with a har of brown sugar simple syrup

Uses for brown sugar syrup

More simple syrup recipes

a gold spoon and a bottle of brown sugar syrup

Brown Sugar Simple Syrup

Yield: 6 ounces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Brown Sugar Simple Syrup is fantastic in coffee and tea drinks as well as cocktails.
4.97 from 98 votes
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  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup water


  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water.
  • Stir until sugar has dissolved. Do not let boil. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  • Store in a mason jar for up to one month.

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nutrition information

Yield: 6 ounces

amount per serving:

Serving: 1ounce Calories: 70kcal Carbohydrates: 18g Protein: 0.02g Sodium: 6mg Potassium: 24mg Sugar: 18g Calcium: 16mg Iron: 0.1mg
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