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Simple syrup is a two-ingredient kitchen staple that every home cook should know how to make. It only takes five minutes! Once you get the formula and simple technique memorized, you’ll use it again and again in your favorite coffee recipes and drink recipes!
When you know how to make simple syrup at home you can enjoy this two-ingredient sweetener in so many recipes. Yes, you can buy it in the grocery store, but why would you when you can make it home with just two ingredients in only five minutes!
Ingredients for simple syrup
- Granulated Sugar – Just the plain, ol’ white sugar from the baking aisle.
- Water – The regular kind from your sink.
What’s the formula for simple syrup?
Simple syrup is made by combining a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. That simple, equal ratio can be scaled up or scaled down to suit your needs.
This recipe calls for 1 cup of each. But can be made in larger or smaller quantities, if desired.
For example, if you want to use 2 cups of sugar, you’ll need to dissolve that in 2 cups of water.
Vice versa, ½ cup of sugar will require ½ cup of water.
Once you remember it’s equal parts sugar and water, you’ll be able to make simple syrup in virtually any quantity you need.
How to make simple syrup
- Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan. And set over medium heat.
- Cook until sugar is dissolved. Stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat. Allow to cool and store until ready to use.
How long does simple syrup last? Virtually forever! Ok, not forever, forever, but for a very long time. Sugar is a natural preservative (did you know?). Properly stored in the refrigerator you can keep a jar of simple syrup for up to six months.
How to store simple syrup? The key to getting simple syrup to last is to properly store it. After making it, it’s important to let it cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
This is actually a rule for all food preparation and storage: never place covered hot food or liquids into a refrigerator.
Not only does it encourage bacteria growth in the item itself (bacteria thrives in a sealed, warm environment), but it raises the temperature of the refrigerator which can risk all of the food inside.
Allow the syrup to come to room temperature before covering and storing in the fridge.
I like to store my simple syrup in a glass mason jar with a lid so I can easily see inside.
Do you boil simple syrup? While it’s perfectly ok to let simple syrup gently simmer, don’t let it boil. Once the syrup boils, water will evaporate, and you essentially have begun the process of making candy or caramel sauce.
Once the sugar has dissolved into the water you can remove it from the heat, avoiding boiling.
When to get rid of simple syrup? If you ever see mold in the syrup or on the storage container, discard the syrup immediately. Also if the syrup becomes cloudy, it may have bacteria growing inside and it’s best to get rid of it.
Flavored Simple Syrup Recipes
One of my favorite things about simple syrup is that you can make delicious, flavored variations of it! This makes it even more versatile when using it in coffee, tea, or cocktails.
For instance, I love using my vanilla simple syrup in homemade vanilla iced coffee. The same goes for my caramel simple syrup and a glass of salted caramel cold foam cold brew! And homemade pumpkin spice syrup is perfect for a pumpkin chai latte.
Of course, the traditional, unflavored simple syrup is perfect in my most favorite cocktail – the Lillet rosè martini!
The possibilities truly are endless!
Simple Syrup Recipe (Ready in 5 minutes!)
- Small Sauce Pot
- Glass jar with lid, for storage
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- In a small sauce pot, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved into water.
- If syrup gently simmers, that’s ok, just be sure not to let it rapidly boil.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and pour into glass storage jar.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before sealing and storing in refrigerator.
- Syrup can be stored in refrigerator for up to six months.
- Refer to post for storage and food safety tips.
- Refer to post for delicious flavor variations.
- Makes 1 ½ cups simple syrup.