Making simple syrup is as easy as it gets, and with a batch on hand, you’ll have an important ingredient at the ready for cocktails and drinks such as mint juleps, margaritas, mojitos, daiquiris, lemonade or iced tea. Although you can sweeten drinks with regular sugar, simple syrup blends in smoothly because the sugar is already dissolved, and the sugar granules won’t settle in the bottom of the glass.

Things You'll Need

Place white sugar and water in a small saucepan. Use equal parts sugar and water for a regular syrup. If you like a thicker, sweeter syrup, use two parts sugar to one part water.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Turn the burner to low and simmer the syrup for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely.

Pour the simple syrup into a clean glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Simple syrup keeps in the refrigerator for about a month.

Tips

  • Make simple syrup with brown sugar instead of white sugar for dark-colored drinks such as those containing rum.

  • If desired, you can add extras to the simple sugar. For example, try vanilla pods, citrus zest or peels or herbs such as mint, thyme or rosemary. To make a winter holiday punch, make sugar syrup with cinnamon sticks and whole cloves.

  • Place the herbs or spices on a square of cheesecloth, and then gather the cloth around the herbs and make a pouch by tying the top with string. Place the pouch in the syrup after the sugar has dissolved and let the syrup steep for about 30 minutes, and then remove the bag.

  • You can also put the extra flavorings directly in the hot mixture. When the syrup cools, strain it by pouring the syrup through a fine mesh strainer.