Easy Simple Syrup Recipe + Tasty Flavor Infusions

Even the experts start with simple syrup. Master mixology at home by learning how to make (and experiment with) simple syrup.

Updated January 16, 2024
Simple Syrup for Cocktails

Not only is having simple syrup ready to go handy when baking, but also when shaking up your favorite mocktails, cocktails, or morning coffee. While you can buy pre-made simple syrup, it's more fun to make it from scratch. Crack open your cocktail repetoire with our easy simple syrup recipe and the flavor infusions we love best. 

Easy Simple Syrup Recipe 

Simple syrup is an essential ingredient in many classic cocktails. Thankfully, it's one of those ingredients that's really easy to make at home. 


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water


  1. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat on high, stirring.
  2. Continue to heat until the sugar completely dissolves in the water.
  3. Cool before using.
Quick Tip

Some bartenders prefer to make a rich simple syrup which has a higher ratio of sugar to water (2:1). This mixture keeps longer and doesn't dilute the other flavors as much as the standard recipe does. 

Syrup From Nigra Sambucus

How Long Does Simple Syrup Last?

When making cocktails, ingredient shelf life is super important since you can leave these ingredients for weeks before touching them again. When stored in a tightly sealed container, simple syrup can last for as little as a week and as much as six months. 

  • Basic simple syrup: Your average simple syrup lasts for up to one month.
  • Rich simple syrup: Rich simple syrup lasts up to two months.
  • Honey simple syrup: Due to honey's perpetual nature, these simple syrups can last indefinitely. If the honey crystalizes, reheat to dissolve it.
  • Fresh ingredient infusions: If you've infused fruits, vegetables, or fresh herbs, you'll want to use the syrup within about a week.
Need to Know

You can also store most simple syrups in a tightly sealed container in your freezer for up to six months.

The Simple Syrup Ratio Matters in Cocktail Making

Many classic and modern cocktails call for simple syrup. It's most common in sours because of the balance it brings to the sweet and strong ingredients. When using basic simple syrup in a sour, you 'll want to master the precise ratio.

  • 1 part sour (usually ¾ an ounce)
  • 1 part simple syrup or cordial (usually ¾ an ounce)
  • 2 parts strong (1½ ounces)

Exciting Simple Syrup Variations & Flavor Combinations 

Half the fun of making cocktails and mocktails is experimenting. If you're looking for other ways to flavor your simple syrup, try mixing up low-carb,  maple, tea flavored, and even spicy ones.

The bartender adds syrup to the shaker

Low-Carb Simple Syrups

For low-carb simple syrups, use a granulated low-carb sweetener that measures like sugar. Sweeteners you can use to make low-carb simple syrup and cocktails include:

  • Granulated allulose
  • Granulated monk fruit sweetener
  • A granulated erythritol-based sweetener such as Swerve
  • Granulated sucralose
Need to Know

Avoid aspartame since it turns bitter when heated and doesn't measure like sugar. Stevia has the same measuring problem and can embitter your syrup as well. 

Tea & Spice Infused Simple Syrups

Infused simple syrups are a delicious way to add different flavors to your drinks. You can infuse it with any ingredient you want, but some work particularly well for cocktails. The trick to making this simple syrup is steeping it like you would tea. 


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Tea or spice of your choice


  1. In a saucepan, heat the sugar and water on high heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Add desired tea leaves or spice ingredients.
  2. Remove from the heat and steep for 30 minutes. If you're infusing it with tea, steep for 5 minutes or risk it becoming bitter.
  3. Strain into a clean container and cool completely before using.

20 Tea & Herb Ingredients You Can Infuse 

Black tea isn't the only thing you can use in this simple syrup infusion. Get creative and mix up one of these ingredients from your pantry. 

  • Earl grey tea (1 tea bag)
  • Cinnamon (2 cinnamon sticks)
  • Whole allspice (1 tablespoon)
  • Whole cloves (1 tablespoon)
  • Peppercorns (10 peppercorns)
  • Dried lavender (1 tablespoon)
  • Citrus zest (2 1-inch strips)
  • Fresh mint (10 leaves)
  • Fresh basil (10 leaves)
  • Fresh rosemary (2 sprigs)
  • Fresh thyme (2 sprigs)
  • Vanilla (1 bean, split)
  • Bay (5 leaves)
  • Juniper berries (10 berries)
  • ½ cup lightly crushed soft fruits or berries (blueberry, raspberry, peach, plum, etc.) 
  • Dried chipotle chilis (1 chili)
  • Fennel seeds (1 tablespoon)
  • Fenugreek seeds (1 tablespoon)
  • Cocoa nibs (1 tablespoon)
  • Cardamom pods (1 tablespoon)
Quick Tip

Use the whole kind when working with dried spices, not the ground. For herbs, leave the leaves whole and intact. For soft fruits, crush them lightly (don't pulvarize) to release their flavor. 

Related: 10 Tea-Infused Cocktails for Botanical Bliss 

Chili Infused Simple Syrup

Looking for a spicy cocktail with a different kind of burn? They're all the rage, and you can get that lip-tingly effect by adding a chili simple syrup. 


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-2 fresh hot chili peppers, halved (with seeds)


  1. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan on high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Strain and cool completely before using or storing.
Quick Tip

Remove the ribs and seeds from the chilies before infusing, and you can reduce some of their heat. 

Fruit or Vegetable Infused Simple Syrups

Fruity and veggie-infused simple syrups can add a surprisingly delicious twist to your cocktails. Make your food pyramid proud with this fruit and vegetable loaded simple syrup. 


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Hard fruits or vegetables 


  1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients. Heat on high heat and stir until it boils.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Cool and strain.

6 Fresh Ingredient Infusion Ideas 

When you're infusing fresh ingredients, let yout eyes wander throughout the produce aisle. See which seasonal goodies catch your eye, or take a page out of our book instead. 

  • Apples (1 apple, peeled and chopped)
  • Rhubarb (1 cup, peeled and chopped)
  • Carrots (1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped)
  • Ginger (2-3 1-inch slices, peeled)
  • Turmeric (2-3 1-inch slices, peeled)
  • Pear (1 pear, peeled and chopped)

Sugar Substitutes 

While you're experimenting with infusions, you can also swap out white sugar for other sweet ingredients.  

  • Maple sugar 
  • Demerara sugar 
  • Brown sugar
  • Honey 
  • Molasses
  • Maple syrup
  • Agave syrup 

Simple Syrup Combinations That Prove Two Is Better Than One 

You can also mix your simple syrups together to create interesting flavor combos. A great way to start is infusing the flavors separately, then mixing equal amounts and bottling.

  • Pear and rosemary 
  • Pear and thyme 
  • Apple and cinnamon 
  • Strawberry and rhubarb 
  • Strawberry and lavender
  • Blackberry and thyme
  • Honey and ginger 
  • Orange and clove 
  • Maple and cinnamon
  • Molasses and ginger 
  • Lavender and honey 
  • Raspberry and basil
  • Brown sugar and cinnamon 
  • Agave and chili pepper 
  • Carrot, honey, and ginger 
  • Chipotle and lime 
  • Lime and mint 
  • Orange and cardamom 

Even the Experts Start With Simple Syrup 

If you only master one mixology foundation it's got to be simple syrup. Homemade simple syrups are the gateway to turning old standards into new favorites. Who knows? You might discover a new signature drink all your friends will clamor over.  

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Easy Simple Syrup Recipe + Tasty Flavor Infusions