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How To Make Basic & Rich Simple Syrups

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Learn how to make basic and rich simple syrups with this easy guide! Level up drinks and desserts with these customizable liquid sweeteners.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
A jar of basic simple syrup and a jar of rich simple syrup with the lids on the jars.

Even if you’re an avid home cook or baker, you may not be familiar with the magic that plain simple syrup can bring to your dishes. I honestly think simple syrup is a must-have in any kitchen. You can use it to enhance drinks like this raspberry margarita mocktail or this Paloma mocktail, desserts, and more!

In this post, I’ll walk you through how to make basic and rich simple syrups and give you some ways to use them in your recipes. So, let’s dive in and learn how to make these versatile sweeteners at home.

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💞 Why You’ll Love This Recipe

✔️ Dissolves easily in both hot and cold drinks.
✔️ Can be infused with your favorite herbs, spices, and fruits.
✔️ Cheap to make.

🧐 What are Basic and Rich Simple Syrups?

Simple syrup is essentially sugar dissolved in water, creating a liquid sweetener perfect for blending into drinks or drizzling over desserts. A basic simple syrup consists of equal parts sugar and water, while a rich simple syrup is made with a higher ratio of sugar to water (usually 2:1), resulting in a thicker, sweeter syrup.

📋 Ingredients For Simple Syrup

  • Sugar—The most commonly used sugar for making simple syrup is white granulated sugar, as it dissolves easily and has a neutral flavor. However, you can also experiment with other types of sugar, such as brown sugar, turbinado sugar, or even coconut sugar. Keep in mind that different sugars will impart their own unique flavors and colors to the syrup, which may affect the final taste of your recipes.
  • Water—I use tap water but you can also use filtered or bottled water water as it helps ensure a pure and consistent flavor.

Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of this post, or scroll to the bottom of the post, to see the PRINTABLE recipe card with ingredient measurements and complete instructions.

👩‍🍳 How to Make Basic & Rich Simple Syrups

The process to make both is the same. The only thing that is different is the amount of water and sugar you use. I like to make mine in a Mason jar in the microwave, however, you can use a pot on the stovetop if you want.

STEP 1—Spoon sugar into a clean heatproof jar. I have basic on the left and rich on the right in the images below.

STEP 2—Add the water to the sugar.

Process shots on how to make basic simple syrup and rich simple syrup.

STEP 3—Give the mixture a really good stir. You want to make sure that any sugar sticking to the bottom of the jar is incorporated into the water.

STEP 4—Heat the jar(s) in the microwave in 30-second increments. Once the sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is clear, remove the jar from the microwave and let the liquid cool to room temperature. Basic simple syrup will turn clear faster than rich simple syrup. You may even notice that the rich syrup has a slight caramel color to it when it’s finished.


Store your cooled syrup in clean, airtight jars or bottles in the refrigerator. The basic recipe can last up to a month, while the rich version has a longer shelf life of about two months. Always check for any signs of spoilage or crystallization before using.

🗣 Expert Tips

1. Give the mixture a stir between heating to help the sugar dissolve.
2. Once the sugar is almost completely dissolved, stopped the heating process to prevent caramelization.
3. Experiment with flavors. Add your favorite herbs, spices, fruits, or extracts while still hot. Strain out solids before storing to prevent spoilage.

💡 Ways To Use

Basic Simple Syrup

You can use basic simple syrup to sweeten cold cocktails and mocktails, or in hot drinks like hot chocolate. It’s also great for sweetening homemade lemonade or iced tea. You can also try brushing it over this Earl Grey yogurt cake or any other cake layers before you ice them to keep them moist.

Rich Simple Syrup

If you like lavender, try this lavender sugar in place of granulated white sugar for a rich botanical syrup that’s lovely in lemonade. The rich version is great for sweetening coffee-based drinks like vanilla lattes or London Fogs. You can also use it to enhance cocktails like Old Fashioneds, sours, or daiquiris. Another way to use it is as a base for homemade sorbet or granita.

Did you make this basic simple syrup or rich simple syrup? Please rate the recipe and tell me how it went in the comments below. Also, stay in touch with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to see more delicious food and recipes!

Printable Recipe Card

A jar of basic simple syrup and a jar of rich simple syrup with the lids on the jars.

How To Make Basic And Rich Simple Syrup

Author: Kelly Neil
Learn how to make basic and rich simple syrups with this easy guide! Level up drinks and desserts with these customizable liquid sweeteners.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American / Canadian
Servings 12 servings
Calories 51 kcal

Special Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons or digital kitchen scale
  • 500 ml Mason jar with tight-fitting lid
Need Metric Measurements?Use the button options below to toggle between US cups and Metric grams.


  • ¾ cup granulated sugar, for rich simple syrup use 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • ¾ cup water, for rich simple syrup use ½ cup (125 ml) water


  • Measure the sugar into a clean Mason jar. Add the water and stir well. Place the jar in the microwave and heat in 30-second increments until the liquid is clear and the sugar is completely dissolved. Rich simple syrup takes a little bit longer to turn clear than basic simple syrup.


Serving: 1ounceCalories: 51kcalCarbohydrates: 13gFat: 0.04gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 0.3mgSugar: 13gCalcium: 1mgIron: 0.01mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know on Instagram @kellyneildotcom or tag #kellyneil!

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