The Best Simple Syrups

Once you know how to make simple syrup, your cocktails will never be the same. Learn how to make this easy cocktail sweetener and 25+ flavored simple syrup recipes.

several jars of different color simple syrups

Cocktail syrup is an easy-to-make ingredient that not only sweetens drinks, but adds flavor as well. Syrups can be bought, but making them is so much better.

In this guide, you’ll not only find out why you should make your own, but more than 25 simple syrup recipes that will create delicious results — and drinks.

What is simple syrup?

Made from sugar and water, simple syrup is a liquid sweetener that is used to add flavor to drinks.

Not only does it work in cocktails, but it can be used to sweeten iced tea and iced coffee. It works especially well in cold drinks, where sugar won’t dissolve easily.

While simple syrup is most often used in drinks, it can also be drizzled over baked goods, ice cream or pancakes. Bakers even use it to add moisture to cakes before decorating.

Why you should make simple syrup

Though store-bought simple syrup is readily available, making it yourself is so much better — and much less expensive.

A bottle of simple syrup can run you anywhere from $8-20 depending on the brand, but if you make it yourself? It costs less than a bag of sugar.

Not to mention the fact that when you make your own simple syrup recipes, you can control what goes in them. No preservatives or corn syrup here!

Plus, you can flavor it with all kinds of fruits, spices and herbs as well as make it with different kinds of sugar.

a cup of sugar and a cup of water

The best cocktail syrup ratio

When it comes to simple syrup, you can have a lot of fun with ratios, which affects the consistency and therefore the sweetness.

The most common simple syrup ratio is 1:1, meaning that you should use as much water as you use sugar.

The 1:1 ratio a similar consistency to water, so a little bit goes a long way in sweetening your drink without diluting it.

Also, if you boil a 1:1 ratio, some of the water will evaporate, resulting in a thicker consistency. But you technically don’t have to boil water to make syrup.

Rich simple syrup recipes

You can make a thicker, sweeter consistency of this recipe called, “rich syrup.”

The benefits are that it won’t cause as much dilution. In other words, when mixing drinks, you can use a little less because it is so much sweeter.

Either a 1.5:1 ratio or a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water will make a more viscous mixture.

The thicker consistency helps it to keep longer than a month because the sugar acts as a preservative.

a hand holding a spoon dripping strawberry simple syrup into a jar

How to make simple syrup

This basic simple syrup recipe is very customizable. It’s a blank slate for zillions of flavor combinations. For example, grenadine is a common variation that shows up in lots of cocktail recipes like the Dirty Shirley.

The recipe is very easy, and once you’ve made it a few times, you’ll be ready to whip up your own creations.

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together sugar and water until dissolved.
  2. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Let cool completely.
  3. Transfer to a glass jar and seal tightly with a lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. 

How to flavor simple syrup

Experimenting with infusions is one of my favorite ways to mix different flavors into my drinks. You can use most fruits, herbs and spices as infusions in the classic simple syrup recipe. Try making up your own combinations.

Whole spices: Add whole spices, such as cardamom pods or cinnamon sticks, to the water and sugar as they heat up and the sugar dissolves. Let them infuse for 20-30 minutes after you remove it from the heat, then remove the whole spices before storing.

Extracts: You can stir a teaspoon of extract, like vanilla or lemon, into a finished syrup to give it a quick and easy flavor.

Fresh herbs: A few sprigs of herbs will give your cocktails tons of fresh flavor. Try adding mint, thyme or sage to your syrup while it’s warm. Let them infuse for 20-30 minutes after you remove it from the heat, then remove the herbs before storing.

Fruit: Fresh and frozen fruit can be used to make simple syrup. I prefer to heat the fruit and water together first, letting the fruit come to a boil. Then, I strain out the fruit solids and stir the sugar into the liquid while the mixture is still warm.

Vegetables: Yes, you can make simple syrup with veggies too! Jalapeño simple syrup is one of my favorites for spicy cocktails and pumpkin puree is the base for my pumpkin spice syrup for pumpkin spice lattes.

Sugars: It’s easy to change up the flavor by simply mixing up the sugar source. White sugar is my go-to for clear syrups (and ones where the color is important). But brown sugar works just as well. You can even use honey!

The best cocktail syrup recipes

Now let’s dig into the best recipes for simple syrup. These are some of the best simple syrup and coffee syrup recipes out there that every home bartender needs to know.

1
a jar of homemade simple syrup
Simple Syrup
Simple syrup is, well, simple to make! And so handy for sweet tea, iced coffee, cocktails and more!
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2
a jar of sugar free syrup
Sugar Free Simple Syrup
Make your own sugar free simple syrup with Stevia.
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3
a glass jar with mint syrup on a cutting board with fresh mint
Mint Simple Syrup
Fresh mint simple syrup adds a touch of summertime to drinks and desserts.
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4
a jar of cinnamon simple syrup next to cinnamon sticks on a wooden coaster
Cinnamon Simple Syrup
Cinnamon simple syrup is an easy-to-make sweetener for cocktails and coffee drinks.
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5
a cork tops a bottle of ginger syrup
Ginger Simple Syrup
Add ginger flavor to your cocktails, drinks and desserts with this simple recipe.
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6
a mason jar filled with honey simple syrup next to a gold jigger and yellow and white wildflowers
Honey Simple Syrup
Make honey simple syrup AKA runny honey for an easy sweetener for cocktails, iced coffee and iced tea. This versatile syrup is both simple and delicious.
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7
a bowl of cherries with cherry syrup
Cherry Simple Syrup
Tart cherries make a tasty addition to drinks and desserts with this easy syrup recipe.
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8
a cork in a bottle of vanilla syrup
Vanilla Simple Syrup
Sweeten your coffee, tea and cocktails with this easy, 3-ingredient vanilla simple syrup. It's easy to double if needed!
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9
a vase of flowers with a bottle of blueberry syrup and a pint of blueberries in a blue ceramic dish
Blueberry Simple Syrup
Made with real blueberries, blueberry syrup is the most delicious addition to cocktails, drinks and desserts!
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10
a jar of prickly pear syrup
Prickly Pear Simple Syrup
Prickly pear syrup is bright, colorful and the perfect addition to drinks and desserts.
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11
a jar of raspberry syrup
Raspberry Simple Syrup
Raspberry Simple Syrup brings the luxurious flavor of raspberries to drinks and desserts.
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12
a gold spoon in strawberry syrup
Strawberry Simple Syrup
Infuse fresh strawberry flavor into your cocktails and desserts with homemade Strawberry Simple Syrup.
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13
demerara sugar in a bottle
Demerara Simple Syrup
Use demerara simple syrup to sweeten coffee, tea and cocktails. This liquid sweetener carries notes of caramel and molasses flavor.
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14
a gold spoon and a bottle of brown sugar syrup
Brown Sugar Simple Syrup
Brown Sugar Simple Syrup is fantastic in coffee and tea drinks as well as cocktails.
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15
a jar of peach syrup
Peach Simple Syrup
Sweeten your summer drinks with Peach Simple Syrup or drizzle it over pancakes, ice cream and desserts.
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16
glass jar with stars along the rim filled with dark brown chocolate syrup with a gold spoon inside and drips running down the jar
Chocolate Syrup
Homemade Chocolate Syrup is easy to make with just 5 ingredients. It is essentially a simple syrup with cocoa powder, vanilla and salt, but it works wonders as an ice cream topping too!
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17
a mason jar of blackberry syrup
Blackberry Simple Syrup
Make Blackberry Simple Syrup for cocktails, tea drinks, lemonade and more. It's a great way to infuse fresh fruit flavor into your beverages.
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18
a jar of caramel simple syrup
Caramel Simple Syrup
This dairy-free caramel simple syrup is delicious when stirred into cocktails and coffee drinks.
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19
jalapeño peppers with an open jar of spicy syrup
Jalapeño Simple Syrup
Sweet and spicy, this jalapeño syrup will add a kick to your cocktails.
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20
a gold spoon with a jar of burnt sugar
Burnt Sugar Syrup
Burnt Sugar Syrup brings a bittersweet, burnt flavor to cocktails and drinks. You can stir it into coffee or pour it over ice cream.
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21
a jar of rosemary simple syrup
Rosemary Simple Syrup
Spruce up your drinks with this easy rosemary simple syrup made with fresh herbs.
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22
a jar of basil syrup on a wood board with fresh basil
Basil Simple Syrup
Fresh and summer, this basil simple syrup is a lovely way to dress up drinks and desserts.
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23
a sage leaf and a yellow spoon in a jar of sage syrup
Sage Simple Syrup
Add some earthy, peppery flavor to your cocktails with this easy Sage Simple Syrup.
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24
a jar of lavender simple syrup with flowers
Lavender Simple Syrup
Made with real lavender flowers, this Lavender Simple Syrup is fragrant, delicious and the perfect addition to tea, cocktails, coffee and lemonade.
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25
Homemade Grenadine Syrup is an easy way to elevate your cocktails. Making Tequila Sunrises and Shirley Temples at home has never been so delicious! (via feastandwest.com)
Grenadine Syrup
Learn how to make grenadine syrup, a common cocktail ingredient made with pomegranate juice.
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26
a shot glass with elderberry syrup
Elderberry Syrup
Filled with antioxidants, elderberry syrup is delicious on its own, mixed into cocktails and spooned over ice cream.
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27
a gold spoon resting in a glass jar of pumpkin spice syrup
Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Pumpkin spice syrup is the secret to making fall-spiced coffee drinks and cocktails at home.
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28
www.gastronomblog.com
Fennel Simple Syrup
If you like licorice flavors, you'll love this subtly fennel simple syrup.
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29
www.cakenknife.com
Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Simple Syrup
This simple syrup is made with fresh strawberries and rhubarb! Perfect for springtime.
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30
www.lemontreedwelling.com
Coconut Lime Simple Syrup
Coconut and lime make for a tasty syrup you can use in tropical cocktails.
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Mix the perfect cocktail, every time

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