Customize your own homemade Flavored Simple Syrups.
One of the easiest ways to sweeten up your drinks and add some extra flavor to your desserts is by making your own plain or flavored simple syrups.
What can I use simple syrup for?
Have you ever made lemonade that requires the sugar to be stirred in until it’s dissolved? Or tried to sweeten a cold drink with sugar? It always seems to take a hot minute to get it all to come together and dissolve that sugar!
Making a simple syrup not only quickly sweetens your lemonades and cold drinks, but it also is a must for mixing cocktails and mocktails.
Why should you have a bottle of plain or flavored simple syrups waiting for you in your fridge?
Uses for simple syrup:
- Iced tea or coffee
- Cocktails and mocktails (YES! Be that home bartender!)
- Pouring over cake and desserts
- Mixing up your own flavored sparkling drinks
- Use as a quick glaze for meats, fish or poultry
- Pour over pancakes and waffles
- Or even to help make that medicine go down (thank you Mary Poppins)
Some of the flavors that my kids enjoy the most are raspberry lime and blueberry lemon… strawberry, blackberry – okay, so they enjoy just about all of the fruity ones.
The wonderful thing about making your own flavored simple syrups is that you can take just about any fruit, herb or spice, and experiment until your plum tuckered. Plus, you can also try the different sugars or sweeteners with all of the different sweet notes to give the syrup a different flavor and even color.
I used a regular white sugar for a basic simple syrup which of course is clear, but I also like to use the pure cane sugar that gives a hint of molasses and is a golden amber color.
If you need more inspiration, you can check out these great recipes from Saveur, I’m thinking of the chili-spiked one myself.
Think of what you are wanting to use it for and flavor the syrups accordingly.
Can you buy simple syrup at the store?
Yes! Here’s where you can buy simple syrup:
- At your local grocery store, usually found in the cocktail mixer aisle.
- You can also find it online at Amazon
- At Sur la Table
- Or try this fun collection of pre-prohibition collection of flavors from Uncommon Goods.
How to store simple syrup?
Keep stored sealed in a bottle or jar in the refrigerator.
How long can you keep simple syrup?
Most recipes will last between 4 – 7 days. It’s best to make the recipes in small batches (the quantities given in recipes are ideal) so that it will retain its freshness.
Is there a sugar-free simple syrup recipe?
Here are a few sans the sugar options for substituting with erythritol, Truvia or sucralose to make a sugar-free simple syrup:
Flavored Simple Syrup Recipe Ideas to use from fruit flavored to herb to spiced:
- Mint Simple Syrup! There’s many to try such as: spearmint, winter mint, chocolate mint, pineapple mint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, apple mint, lavender mint, and more. Think mint juleps and mojitos!
- Strawberry, fresh (preferred) or frozen work well.
- Vanilla simple syrup, so nice! Use a whole vanilla bean, or extract.
- Demerara sugar for a golden amber color and slight molasses flavor.
- Jalapenos, habanero, hatch, scotch bonnets, Tabasco, they are all great for adding a nice bit of heat to create a sweet and spicy chili simple syrup. Perfect to serve with a tasty chicken and waffles recipe.
- Lemon, lime, orange, all make wonderful simple syrups for glazing cakes, fruit cakes, donuts, sweetbreads (I used a simple syrup glaze with this babka!) and more.
Just about any fruit can be turned into a syrup. Just get creative and mix up some flavors such as:
- coconut and lime
- lemon and blueberry
- strawberry lemon
- raspberry lime
- ginger and lemon (perfect for a ginger beer recipe)
- standard vanilla (great over desserts, ice creams, and in coffees)
I love using simple syrups any time of the year, but in the summer, I love to make a pitcher of ginger beer!
What is ginger beer?
It is a balance lovely blend of just the right amount of kick from ginger mingles with a bit of sweet and then you get that hint of lemon. They all come together perfectly in this version of flavored simple syrup, pour some in a glass and top off with some sparkling water, add a sprig of mint or twist of lemon and life is good.
Easy peasy ginger beer! It’s so refreshing and tastes amazing.
Other refreshing drinks to try:
- Brazilian Lemonade, a creamy blend of limes and sweetened condensed milk, you have to give it a go!
- Cherry Limeade! My kids’ favorite drink! It’s all lemony lime, with a nice punch of cherry, perfect any time of day.
- Sweetened Iced Tea, as a southerner this is how we stay hydrated. You can make it unsweetened and then give everyone the bottle of basic simple syrup on the side to sweeten to taste.
- For the adults try this stunning cocktail recipe y’all. A Scarlet O’Hara cocktail punch recipe put on some of your favorite music, I like a bit of country music, and enjoy over ice! Great for cookouts, picnics, dinner parties, or any warm-weather occasion. (Please always drink responsibly).
Below is my basic recipe to make the simple syrup. For the base recipe below I’m using my go-to simple syrup ratio of 1:1, one cup of water to 1 cup of water.
But what if you’re looking to make a thicker simple syrup. It’s one easy adjustment. To make simple syrup thicker use the following, make it a 1:2 ratio, that is 1 cup of water and 2 cups of sugar. This is the perfect ratio to use over pancakes and waffles. Just remember, it will be twice as sweet, so do a taste test and add as needed.
Here’s how to make simple syrup!
Basic Simple Syrup
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Water
- 1 cup fresh or frozen Blueberries
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1 cup fresh or frozen Raspberries
- Juice of 1 Lime
- 1/4 cup sliced or grated fresh Ginger
- Juice of 2 - 3 Lemons (1/4 cup)
- Sprigs of fresh Mint, optional or to garnish
- Handful of fresh Mint
- 1 Vanilla pod or 1 tsp. Vanilla extract or paste
- Juice of 3 Limes
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add the water and sugar and bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally or until the sugar has fully dissolved.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Store in airtight jar, can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To Make Flavored Simple Syrup:
- Add your favorite fruit, herb or spice to the basic simple syrup mixture and continue as above, reduce heat and allow to simmer or mellow for about 5 - 8 minutes (depending on the flavor your using), sieve if necessary, allow to cool and store as directed above.
Will keep in an airtight container for 4 - 7 days in the refrigerator. To make a thicker simple syrup, increase the amount of sugar to 2 cups so that your ratio is 1:2 (1 cup of water and 2 cups of sugar).
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Stacey is a Southern girl with a taste for travel, thriving on the discovery of the world through food. After spending many years traveling and living overseas, she’s now back home in her beloved deep south enjoying life with her three little ones and loving the adventure. She’s a food stylist and food photographer, as well as, the creative behind Little Figgy Food, where she loves to inspire others to try new flavors and foodie techniques.