A Smart Tip for Making Simple Syrup in Just 20 Seconds

published Jul 20, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Clear bottle of simple syrup with a handmade label sitting on a table. There are drinks and cocktail stirring spoon in the background
Credit: Lauren Volo

Simple syrup is about as uncomplicated as ingredients come. The mixture, an essential part of many beverage recipes (caffeinated, alcoholic, both, or neither) earns its name from the equal proportions it takes of sugar and water. It needs no other measurements or ingredients, and making it has always been fairly simple — you just simmer the two parts together until the sugar dissolves into the water. 

But Jenny Rosenstrach, author of the newsletter Dinner a Love Story, recently offered up a way to make simple syrup even more simple. “You can also just add your sugar and water to a jar (same ratio, one to one) and shake violently for about 20 seconds.” It saves a little bit of time in making it, but tons more in cooling it — meaning that you don’t have to wait if, say, you want to try out a cocktail recipe right that minute. It also saves even more time because you don’t have to wash as many dishes.

Once you make your simple syrup right in the jar — she suggests the classic Bonne Maman jam jars — you can use it right away, but also it comes all ready to store in your fridge when the craving for whatever sweet drink hits you next. Need some inspiration? Start brewing delightful mocktails like hibiscus iced tea and the bright and bitter; making a classic French 75 or whiskey sour; or simply adding it to your coffee (warm or cold) for a smoother-drinking, less messy alternative to spooning in sugar. Simple syrup also seriously also amps up your fruit salads — in both flavor and looks — if you drizzle a little over the top, and will keep your cake moist if you brush it on before frosting. 

Have you tried this trick before? Let us know in the comments!