How to Make Simple Syrup

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Simple syrup is the ideal concoction to keep on hand in your refrigerator this summer to sweeten cold drinks, like tea or coffee.

Simple syrup is just that. A simple syrup of sugar and water. It’s basically that supersaturated solution that Mr. Glahn had us make in 11th grade chemistry. Only it’s good. And you can eat it.

(You would never have wanted to eat anything crafted in our science labs.)

Simple syrup has a multitude of uses. Since the sugar is already dissolved in water, it makes a convenient sweetener for cold drinks like iced tea or coffee. You can use it to easily mix lemonade, make a citron presse, or stir up a pitcher of mojitos. Basically use it to sweeten or flavor any cold beverage.

Or just take a swig when you’re desperate for a sweet pick-me-up.

Ok, I’ve never done the last thing, but I’ve done all the others. I love cold drinks in the summertime, and I do have a bit of a sweet tooth. So, simple syrup makes the whole process easier and tastier. Who wants gritty sugar at the bottom of a glass?

I’ve made this with evaporated sugar cane juice as well as standard granulated sugar. It works out fine both ways. If you use the less processed cane product, like I did in the batch in the picture, the color will be more amber than clear.

You can make flavored simple syrups by adding citrus zest, vanilla extract, or mint leaves to the hot mixture. Mint syrup is out of this world for hot chocolate or coffee drinks.

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Quench Your Thirst - Drink Recipes from GoodCheapEats
Simple Syrup
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
Course: Seasonings
Cuisine: American
Keyword: simple syrup, sugar syrup
Servings: 32 tablespoons
Calories: 48 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  1. Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring.

  2. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional values are approximate and based on 1 tablespoon.

Nutrition Facts
Simple Syrup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 48
% Daily Value*
Sodium 1mg0%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Sugar 12g13%
Calcium 1mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. katie says

    How long will simple syrup last in the fridge?

    • Jessica says

      I have read different things, from one week all the way to one month. Typically, I freeze it if I can’t use it within two weeks.

  2. Love this idea for iced tea. I make sun tea a lot and the simple syrup will be perfect.

  3. Lori says

    I add a packet of unsweetened kool aid to simple syrup for snow cone syrup. I make two batches so kids have choice of flavors. Much better and lots cheaper than store bought.

  4. Harriet says

    My 95 yo grandmother pokes holes in a freshly baked cake and drizzles this in. It ensures that the cake is super moist.

  5. Jane says

    Took some of the peaches/nectarines in last weeks AHO box and juiced them and made a “peach syrup” for tea. My family loves the peach tea it makes!

  6. Tracy says

    As Emily said, we use this for iced tea. We also use it for lemonade. A 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1 1/2 cup simple syrup and 6 cups of water makes a lovely lemonade. You can easily adjust the amounts if you like a more tart or sweet lemonade.

    I love your idea about adding the mint. We love to add peppermint leaves when we steep the tea for iced tea, but adding it to the simple syrup is a much better idea. Thank you!

  7. Sarah says

    I love this idea but being from the northeast id be sooo sad if i couldnt enjoy maple syrup(i tend to love everything maple flavored ). ;-). I will try it with iced tea though

    • Jessica says

      I love maple syrup, too. Do you use it coffee and lemonade as well? I usually only use it on breakfast and in baking.

  8. Michele says

    Jessica – you are rocking my world with all these great ideas! I don’t know if I’m just in a receptive mood, cooking-wise, lately or what, but first I read Kitchen Counter Cooking School and now this simple syrup thing! I just made passion tea (I use it to make passion lemonade like Starbucks) and I made some simple syrup and it’s yummy! Much better than having grainy sugar at the bottom of my cup. Thanks!

  9. nia Hanna says

    Do you have trouble with this crystalizing? I did, and I put boiling water in to break up crystals at the bottom, but I’d really like to avoid it if possible.

    • There is a scientific reasoning for why that happened, but now my homeschool science memory is falling me. I’m thinking it has to do with getting too hot so that it reached a candy point. You only need the sugar to dissolve, it doesn’t need to boil hot.

  10. Patty Stone says

    Thanks for sharing your recipe and tips. I made simple syrup for three jars of fruit I am going to use in cookies. I now have Orange Peels, Lemon Peels and Raisins soaking in their own jars preparing for my baking this week. I was thinking how I will have all of this wonderful simple syrup left over but I don’t drink so I only knew it to be used for Cocktails. Now I can save it for another use. Thanks everyone!

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