Apple simple syrup is as easy as apple pie! Made with fresh apples, cinnamon and cloves, this cocktail syrup mixes deliciously into drinks.
Homemade Apple Syrup recipe
I’m one of those people who’d rather have pie than cake. I said what I said.
I get it from my dad — he’d always rather have an apple pie for his birthday than a chocolate cake.
Apple pie is something we eat year-round in my family, not just on Thanksgiving. But we eat it then too! Usually with homemade apple cider on the stovetop.
And apple in cocktails? Absolutely. From apple cider mimosas to applejack Moscow mules, apple cocktails are the best way to enjoy apple season.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Apple pie lovers will adore this spiced apple syrup, transforming their favorite cocktails into apple pie libations.
- It’s easy to make! You only need 5 ingredients and about 30 minutes.
- Making simple syrups yourself is cheaper than buying them, plus there are no questionable ingredients, artificial flavors or food coloring.
What is simple syrup?
Simple syrup is a liquid sweetener made with just sugar and water.
It works as an easy sweetener for cold drinks, letting you skip all the stirring of sugar granules! It’s great for coffee drinks, iced tea and cocktails.
Though you can buy it at the store, a handcrafted simple syrup is so much better, and not to mention cheaper. They are easy to flavor with herbs like rosemary or spices like cinnamon.
Simple syrups can also be drizzled over desserts, ice cream and even breakfast foods.
You only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty apple simple syrup recipe.
Crisp autumn apples are perfect for this recipe. Even better if you got them apple picking or at the local farmers market!
You can use any type of apple. Red, yellow and green apples are each a delightful addition to this recipe.
Red apples are going to be a little sweeter, whereas green ones are tart. Yellow ones land somewhere in the middle.
For red apples, Honeycrisp, Fuji or Gala have the sweetest apple flavor. Granny Smith apples have a sweet and sour flavor that is perfect if you like things more tart.
If you like, you can even use some of both red and green for a sweet-tart combination.
To prepare them for the syrup, core and dice the apples. Toss the apple cores and apple seeds.
You can make apple sugar syrup with either brown sugar or white sugar. Cane sugar will also work.
Brown sugar will have more of a butterscotch undertone and white sugar will have more caramel and molasses notes.
Which sugar you use does affect the color. I used white sugar in this recipe to give it a lighter color, but brown sugar syrup has much darker color.
While apples and spices are the stars of this recipe, the type of water you use will make a difference.
If your tap water is safe to drink, tap water will work fine. However, filtered or distilled water will yield even better and purer results.
When mixed with apples and spices that can go bad, the purer water will help to make your syrup last longer in the fridge.
Spices pair well with sweet apples to give this syrup a distinctive apple pie flavor. Soft cinnamon and spicy clove make this syrup so warm and inviting.
Using whole spices like cinnamon sticks and cloves in this syrup makes a better quality syrup. You can use ground spices, but they can give the syrup a grainy texture.
If you need to use whole spices, use ¾ teaspoon of ground cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves.
How to make Apple Simple Syrup
First, dice the apple. You can leave the apple peels on — there’s no need to remove the peels unless you plan to use the leftover cooked apples to make applesauce or eat them with ice cream.
Place diced apple, water, cinnamon stick and cloves in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
Lower heat to a simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t stir too much or press the apples because the syrup will become cloudy.
With a fine-mesh strainer, strain the liquid into a measuring cup. Discard the solids. (You may need to strain a couple of times, especially if you used ground spices.)
Pour the liquid back into the saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the sugar until dissolved, but don’t boil. Remove from heat. Bring to room temperature before storing or using.
Store in a food-safe, airtight container(s) such as bottles or mason jars. If it ever becomes cloudy, you should toss it — this is a sign it is going bad!
Variations and substitutions
Sugar-free apple syrup: Use your favorite sugar substitute to make a sugar-free syrup.
Berry apple syrup: Substitute some of the apples with your favorite berries to make a summery syrup.
Apple ginger syrup: Add a peeled and diced 1-inch piece of ginger into the mixture with the apples.
Maple apple syrup: Instead of sugar, you can use maple syrup.
Uses for apple syrup
You can use apple simple syrup in so many ways! It’s the coziest addition to fall cocktails enjoyed by a crackling fire or drizzled over sweet wintertime favorites.
For drinks, you have so many options! My favorite right now is using it to make an apple old-fashioned cocktail.
Another good one is an apple gin fizz. Botanical gin and sweet apples are so great together!
You can use a little bit of this syrup instead of apple cider or apple juice to make an apple Moscow mule.
It works in coffee shop drinks too. Use it to make a Starbucks copycat Apple Crisp Macchiato or stir it into a hot cup of tea.
Another great way is to use it on food treats. Drizzle it over apple cider pancakes or apple turnovers for a delicious breakfast.
You can also bottle it up in glass jars and give it as a gift. It makes a great hostess gift or Christmas present for the cocktail lover in your life.
More simple syrup recipes
Apple Simple Syrup
Full of fall flavors, this recipe for spiced apple syrup can easily be multiplied to add to coffee, tea drinks, cocktails and desserts.
- 1 large red apple, diced
- 1 cup water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- ½ cup sugar
- Place diced apple, water, cinnamon stick and cloves in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat to a simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t stir too much or press on the apples or the syrup will become cloudy.
- With a fine-mesh strainer, strain the liquid into a measuring cup. Discard the solids.
- Pour the liquid back into the saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the sugar until dissolved, but don’t boil. Remove from heat.
- Store in an airtight, food-safe container such as a bottle or mason jar in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Simple syrup will keep refrigerated for up to 1 month in the fridge. If it begins to look cloudy, it's time to toss it out.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 ounce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 86Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 0g
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