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Simple Syrup Recipe to add sweetness to cocktail

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Simple Syrup

Basic simple syrup recipe to add a splash of sweetness to drinks
Cook Time5 minutes
Cooling Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cocktail, Drink, Mocktail, Simple Syrup
Servings: 36 Servings
Calories: 16kcal
Cost: 1


  • Small Saucepan


  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar*


  • Bring water and sugar to boil over med-high heat in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally
  • Once mixture starts to boil, remove from heat and allow to cool
  • Use in drinks once cool. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 month.


*you can substitute other types of sugar including brown sugar, turbinado/demerara to add complexity and richness to your simple syrup

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Tools Needed

You’ll need just a few simple tools for this Simple Syrup recipe. You probably already have most of them in your kitchen:

What is Simple Syrup?

Simple Syrup is a liquid sweetener made from a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. While you’ll see simple syrups used in baking and candy making, the most frequent use is in drinks.

The term simple syrup typically refers to a mixture made using granulated sugar, although other variations are common. Adding simple syrup to cocktails and mocktails helps balance drinks that are otherwise too bitter, acidic, or booze forward.

Measuring cups with brown and granulated sugar for simple syrup recipe
What can I substitute for simple syrup?

Creating a good simple is a such an easy recipe, and you’ll likely already have the ingredients in your kitchen. We suggest substituting for simple syrup if you’re trying to impart a particular flavor on a drink recipe.

Consider using the following substitutes:

  • Maple Syrup – great for certain whiskey drinks
  • Agave Nectar – works well with tequila and gin
  • Sweet Vermouth – less sweet, often found in Mediterranean cocktails
  • Sweet liqueurs – depending on the type of liqueur you use, these can often add equal or less sweetness than simple syrups
What variations are there?

You can experiment with using different types of sugars or infusing flavor into the water while creating a simple syrup. Some of the most common variations replace granulated sugar with brown sugar or Demerara/Turbinado sugar. This substitution creates a slightly richer, more complex flavor. For an example of a recipe using a brown sugar simple syrup, check out our Classic Old Fashioned.

Flavored simple syrups can add a wide range of additional flavors to your cocktail. Like our Strawberry-Rhubarb Simple Syrup that adds a bright summery splash to drinks.

We hope this recipe and information helps you make better cocktails at home. If it you found this useful, leaving a comment and rating below helps us a lot!

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