This Easy-to-Make Simple Syrup Will Elevate Your At-Home Cocktails

updated Sep 25, 2023

This essential cocktail ingredient comes together quickly with just sugar and water.

Makes1 1/2 cups

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When I first started learning how to make cocktails at home, I had no idea people made their own simple syrup. I was the person who went to the store to buy a bottle of what I later learned to be sugar water. That’s right — sugar dissolved in water.

Simple syrup is an essential ingredient in cocktails and other beverages because it blends so well with other liquids, and it’s super easy to make yourself — we promise. When you learn how easy it is, you’ll end up creating all different types of amazing herb and fruit syrups for your cocktails at home.

Quick Overview

How to Make Simple Syrup

It’s a cinch to make simple syrup. All you need to do to make this essential cocktail ingredient is heat sugar and water over the stove, funnel it into a glass container, and cool it in the fridge.

Credit: Lauren Volo

What Is Simple Syrup?

Simple syrup is liquified sugar that is primarily used as a key ingredient in cocktails, but can also be used as a sweetener for teas, coffees, and even baked goods.

Simple Syrup Ratio

Traditional simple syrup is made from one part water to one part sugar (1:1). White granulated sugar is the standard sweetener, but once you’ve mastered that basic base, feel free to experiment with different sugars, while being sure to keep the ratio the same.

Rich simple syrup

One common simple syrup variation is rich simple syrup. Instead of the traditional one part sugar to one part water, it calls for two parts sugar to one part water (2:1). The process of making it is exactly the same.

Many bartenders and home cocktail enthusiasts prefer to use rich simple syrup because of the rich syrup’s thicker texture. It can add a little more body to your cocktails.

Credit: Lauren Volo

Making Simple Syrup

Measuring might be the most complicated part of making simple syrup. Measuring by volume is most common. All you need to do is:

The second way to measure your ingredients is by weight, which is more precise (if only by a fraction). To keep it consistent:

  • Weigh eight ounces of water.
  • Weigh eight ounces granulated sugar.

After you measure, you’re ready to heat:

  • Heat the water first, before adding the sugar. Heating the sugar and water together won’t ruin the syrup — it just takes longer to heat. Also, note that you do not bring the water to a boil.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, let the syrup cool. Store it in a glass container in the refrigerator for two to three weeks.

How Long Does Simple Syrup Last?

If stored correctly in a glass container in the fridge, homemade simple should last two to three weeks.

Credit: Lauren Volo

How to Use Simple Syrup

Homemade syrup is versatile, but it’s primarily used for:

  • Cocktails
  • Sweetening coffees or teas
  • Drizzling over cakes
  • Make simple sorbet or granita with fresh fruit

The world of simple syrup is endless. You can get pretty creative with fruit syrups, herb syrups, spiced syrups, and more.

Making your own syrups at home is a great way to take your home creations to a new level by introducing different flavor profiles into your cocktails and other beverages.

Simple Syrup Recipe

This essential cocktail ingredient comes together quickly with just sugar and water.

Makes1 1/2 cups

Nutritional Info


  • 1 cup

    water, preferably filtered

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar



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  1. Heat the water: Heat the water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until hot, but do not bring to a boil.

  2. Stir in the sugar: Add the sugar and stir until fully dissolved.

  3. Cool and store: Let the syrup cool to room temperature before using or storing. Using a funnel if needed, transfer the simple syrup into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Recipe Notes

Rich simple syrup: For a thicker, heavier syrup, simply adjust the proportions. Many bartenders prefer a 2:1 sugar-to-water ratio.

Storage: Store it in a glass container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.