Simple syrup.

clear glass bottle with sliced lemon

We’ve all heard of simple syrup. It’s the simple ingredient in lots of recipes, including cocktails.

I’m not going into all the uses here, you can use your imagination; but we’re going to learn about how it’s used in cocktails. The cocktails that use simple syrup are endless. Here’s a short list: mojitos, daiquiris, mint julep, manhattan, old fashioned, some martinis….see? Endless. So, it’s a necessity for cocktails.

Yes, you can buy simple syrup. But why? Maybe convenience, but as with most things, homemade is just better. On the plus side, this is cheap to make, easy to make, and tastes great. What more could you ask for?

Recipe: Simple Syrup

Cooled simple syrup

First, most simple syrups are 1:1 ratios. 1 Cup white sugar to 1 Cup water. We’ll talk variations in a minute.

Get out a small saucepan. Add the sugar and water. You can double or triple the recipe if need be. Just keep it a 1:1 ratio. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and let it reduce for 5 or so minutes. You can let it go up to 10 minutes as long as it doesn’t start to get some color. Take it off the heat and cool. Once cooled, it can be stored in a glass bottle in the fridge for at least a month. Mine never lasts long!


dOh boy, this could take awhile. I’m just going to touch on a few. You can swap out white sugar for a demera or unrefined sugar. This adds some color and a slight caramel flavor to the final syrup. A richer flavor, maybe. Not the clean taste of the white sugar. You get it, right?

You can make a honey syrup. Lighter than straight up honey. Mix 1/3 cup honey with 1 cup water and heat. Cool and use. Reducing it down only returns it to a denser honey syrup, so not needed. It will be more water-y, but that’s the purpose. I like it because it adds flavor but not as much sweetness. Can you imagine this in sweet tea?

Infusions can be done with simple syrup. Some as typical as strawberries, or lemons, or some as exotic as elderberry flowers. All delicious! If you choose, have fun with it. Experiment!


Again, depends on usage. Any glass mason jar will work to store in the fridge. But I’m always partial to a vintage syrup jar or container. It looks good when I set it on the bar, or add it to a drink buffet. Just make sure it’s clean and been rinsed with very hot water. If you feel like the container is safe, I put it in boiling water or run it through the dishwasher. You can never be too careful.

Alrighty then, time to get cooking. Or making syrup. Or whatever it’s called. Get some ready in the fridge. And start on that list of cocktails. Or tea. Or lemonade. Oops, I said I’d let you use your imagination! Go!

Cheers! The Booze Stylist