How to make sugar syrup - a bartender's staple!

It might sound simple, isn't it just sugar & water? Ahh but my friend you've come this far, so clearly you're not here to mess around. Sickly sweet syrups & undissolved sugar granules are total cocktail spoilers. Booo. Let's get the recipe & method right the first time, so you can make a perfectly balanced sugar syrup for your Old Fashioned or Whiskey Sour.

How to make sugar syrup for cocktails, simple & rich recipes


  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring device
  • Air tight jar or container


  • 1 part granulated sugar (or alternative)
  • 1 part water


  • Combine equal parts sugar & water in a saucepan, bring to simmer
  • Reduce heat & stir occasionally to dissolve sugar
  • Allow to cool & store in an air tight jar or container in the fridge for 1 month


  • SIMPLE SYRUP - A 1:1 sugar syrup is also known as a simple syrup & can be kept in the freezer for 1 year
  • RICH SYRUP - A rich syrup is made using 2:1 sugar:water & lasts 6 months in the fridge, however may not freeze due to the high sugar content
  • COLD VERSION - This recipe can be made without a saucepan using cold/room temperature water, but be prepared for lots of stirring over a much longer time!
  • FLAVOURS - You can add other flavours like bitters, lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla or ginger to the syrup. Try cooking with fruit pieces - use a little for a colour change or a lot for a jammy texture
  • ALTERNATIVES - Brown sugar or agave nectar are alternatives with the same ratios. Other sweeteners can be used but observe their ratios - honey:water 3:2, maple:water 1:2
  • HEALTHIER - Although it's a sugar mix, homemade syrups are often healthier, as they don't contain hidden preservatives or flavours that store-bought versions may have.. winning!


Found this recipe mega awesome?
- Let us know below!
Not sure what the heck you just read?
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Discovered a more epic syrup recipe?
- YES! Let us know!

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