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10 Simple Syrup Recipes To Keep Your Drinks Interesting

Updated on April 1, 2013

What Is Simple Syrup?

Simple syrup is a mixture of water and sugar that used to sweeten drinks, it's usually used by bartenders or mixologists but there are plenty of other uses for it too. It's extremely easy to make, hence the name "simple" syrup, and keeps for quite some time when stored in the refrigerator(around two weeks). This article is going to explain how to make some very special simple syrups that will make your drinks even more unique by adding a touch of extra flavor, color or aroma to them, all while sweetening them at the same time! But first, you need to know how to make the standard syrup. Keep on reading to find out how!

How To Video

How Do I Make Simple Syrup?

Simple syrup is so easy to make and it only takes a few minutes. I would start with making a small batch because you really don't need much of it in each drink. I usually start with 1 to 1.5 cups of water and an equal amount of sugar. I know it sounds like a lot but trust me, it makes mixing drinks so much easier!

All you have to do to make a standard simple syrup is heat the water in a saucepan and stir in the sugar until it's completely dissolved. It's important to remember not to boil the crap out of the water, we aren't making candy here, it only needs to be warmed enough to get that sugar melted. Once you have it nice and combined, remove from the heat and let it cool until it's ready to go in the fridge. As I mentioned before, it will keep for up to two weeks since it's just sugar and water.

In order to use the simple syrup, just add one or two tablespoons per drink and mix it up well. I like to use a cocktail shaker to mix my drinks, just remember not to use one if your drink is carbonated. You might have to adjust the amount of syrup you use based on how sweet you want the drink to be. For a standard mojito I usually use 2 tablespoons, but some of my friends like them more on the sweet side so I put 3 into there's. That's one of the best things about this stuff, it's so easy to make each drink as sweet as you want!

Cinnamon is great for fall drinks
Cinnamon is great for fall drinks
Lavender adds an aromatic level to your drinks
Lavender adds an aromatic level to your drinks
Mint is refreshing and goes with anything
Mint is refreshing and goes with anything

What Other Kinds Of Simple Syrups Can I Make?

This is the fun part(and the purpose of this article)! Since this stuff is so easy to make, it's also really easy to customize. You can make all kinds of simple syrups to go in whatever drinks you're making, but I have 10 really good ones that I want to share with you here. Feel free to try them out and spice up your drinks!

  1. Green Tea Simple Syrup - First brew some green tea in a saucepan, I use 1.5 cups of water with 2 tea bags or two tablespoons of loose tea leaves. Strain out the tea and return the liquid to the sauce pan. Stir in an equal amount of sugar and dissolve. Let the mixture cool and store in the fridge.
  2. Lavender Simple Syrup - Toss in some fresh or dried lavender flowers while you heat up the water and simmer for a few minutes after stirring in the sugar. Then strain out the flowers and refrigerate. Not only will you get an amazing flavor from the flowers, you'll also get a lovely aroma which adds another layer to your drinks. Remember, our taste is really effected by our smell.
  3. Vanilla Simple Syrup - Prepare the syrup as you normally would, and then pour the hot mixture over 2 or 3 split vanilla beans and leave it for about 10 hours. I like to use a mason jar because I know it can handle the heat and won't crack.
  4. Cinnamon Simple Syrup - Toss in a cinnamon stick after dissolving the sugar into the water and simmer for 5 minutes or so. This is great added to apple cider(with or without alcohol).
  5. Orange Zest Simple Syrup - Bring water to a boil and add in 2 or 3 strips of orange peel, let simmer for 15 minutes and then strain out the orange peel. Return the liquid to the saucepan and dissolve the sugar. Cool and refrigerate. This one goes well with any citrus flavored drink, I like to add a tiny bit to my tea as well.
  6. Toffee Simple Syrup - Use toffee instead of sugar to create this delicious syrup. Great for coffee! It takes a little more work to melt it but the extra effort is worth it. Make sure you don't heat it too much, just enough to melt it.
  7. Banana Simple Syrup - This one is a little more complicated. Puree one banana in a blender or food processor, really make sure you break up all the little bits. Then add it to the syrup mixture while you heat it up, strain out all of the banana pieces before storing or it will go bad quickly. It's best to use this one up quickly because it has real fruit in in.
  8. Mint Simple Syrup - Simmer the simple syrup with a bunch of mint leaves for a few minutes. Store 5 or 6 fresh leaves in the syrup for extra flavor. When I'm feeling lazy I use this for mojitos instead of muddling the leaves myself!
  9. Berry Simple Syrup - Simmer with fresh or frozen berries, strain out all solids before storing. This adds a ton of color to your drinks, especially if you use blackberries or blueberries.
  10. Ginger Simple Syrup - Add a handful of chopped fresh ginger to your syrup while it simmers and then remove from the heat, let it steep for 20 minutes and then strain into a container.

There you go! 10 super unique simple syrup recipes that you can use in your drinks to give them a little more depth and to show off that you know what you're doing. Your friends will thing you're such a pro. You aren't limited to these syrups either, the options are endless, try mixing some of these together or making up your own, experimenting is fun!

Need some drinks to try these out with? You can start with this huge list of vodka drinks, it should keep you busy for a while!

Poll Time!

Which Syrup Listed Is Your Favorite?

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What Else Can I Use Simple Syrup For?

Simple syrup isn't only for cocktails! You can use it in anything! I use it in my coffee and tea. You can use it to sweeten anything that requires sweetening. Get creative and find your own uses for it, I'm sure you can come up with some good ideas! Maybe that's an idea for another hub ;-)

If you enjoyed this article please leave me a comment! Which syrup sounds best to you and what would you like to use it in? Let me know!

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