Have you ever wanted to sweeten lemonade or a cocktail recipe? Simple syrup is the best way to sweeten drinks and cocktails! If you’ve ever wondered how to make simple syrup, this guide is for you!

Simple syrup has just 2 ingredients and is easy to make and even easier to use.


simple syrup in glass jar

I always have a jar of simple syrup in my refrigerator. Simple syrup is perfect for flavoring lemonade or cocktails and so many different drinks. Simple syrup lasts several weeks in the refrigerator, so it’s great to make a big batch of it to use anytime you want to sweeten a drink. This is especially great in summer when we’re making lemonade and margaritas and mojitos several times a week.

What is simple syrup?

Simple syrup is just a mixture of sugar and water that’s been heated until the sugar dissolves. The problem with adding sugar to lemonade or other drinks is that granulated sugar won’t dissolve in cold water very easily. By heating up sugar and water, the sugar dissolves, allowing you to sweeten your drinks using less sugar than you’d use if you were just adding teaspoons to your cocktail.

With just 2 ingredients, simple syrup is easy to make and store. Keep it covered in the refrigerator and it’ll be good to use for at least a few weeks.

Can you flavor simple syrup?

You can even flavor your simple syrup depending on what you’re making. I’ll often make citrus simple syrup by substituting the water for fresh lemon, lime, or orange juice.

Have you ever thought about adding mint, rosemary, or other herbs to your cocktails? You can flavor your simple syrup with herbs, just by adding fresh herbs into the water and sugar during the cooking process.

Sure, you can buy simple syrup at most grocery or liquor stores, but it’s easy to make and homemade is always better. The ones from the store have preservatives in them that you just don’t need when you can make your own in under 10 minutes.

So, how do you make simple syrup?

Let’s learn!

sugar in measuring cup

You start with sugar. Some recipes say sugar to water is 1:1, while others call for 2:1. My recipe uses a one-to-one ratio of sugar to water. It’s easy to make more or less simple syrup just by doubling or halving the recipe.

Start with 1 cup of granulated sugar.

pouring water into pan

Add the sugar to a small saucepan with 1 cup of water. You can also use fresh citrus juice. Add herbs or vanilla beans or even jalapeños to flavor your simple syrup.

stirring simple syrup

Cook the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Try not to let it boil. This just takes a few minutes.

Pour the mixture in a jar and let it come to room temperature, then cover and chill until ready to use.

Simple syrup is an easy way to sweeten your drinks. With just 2 ingredients it’s easy to make at home!

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simple syrup in glass jar

Simple Syrup

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Have you ever wanted to sweeten lemonade or a cocktail recipe? Simple syrup is the best way to sweeten drinks and cocktails! If you've ever wondered how to make simple syrup, this guide is for you!
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 12 ounces
Serving Size 1 tablespoon


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water (see note)


  • Place sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until sugar has dissolved, just a few minutes.
  • Pour into jar and cool completely before using. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe Notes

Want a flavored simple syrup? Use lemon juice, lime juice, or orange juice instead of water. Or, add fresh herbs, vanilla beans, or jalapeños while the mixture is cooking (discard and strain syrup after).
All images and text ©Dorothy Kern for © Easy Good Ideas. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Sodium: 1mg | Sugar: 16g
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Use simple syrup in so many recipes, like Mocktail Virgin Margaritas, Punch, or homemade lemonade!

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