Keep simple syrup on hand for mixing cocktails or sweetening your tea or fresh-squeezed lemonade.–Frank Stitt

A syrup canister half-filled with simple syrup.

Simple Syrup

5 from 1 vote
Simple syrup is exactly that—simple. Water simmered with sugar until you have a sweet syrup that can be added to nearly anything that needs a little sweetness. Try it in cocktails, lemonade, and iced tea.
David Leite
Servings32 tablespoons | 2 cups
Calories48 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water


  • Combine the sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring and swirling to dissolve the sugar. Dip a pastry brush in hot water and wipe down the sides of the pan to dissolve any sugar crystals that cling to the sides. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool. Simple syrup keeps for weeks in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator.


Can I Infuse Simple Syrup?

Simple syrup can in fact have a more complex taste. The potential for inspired flavorings looms large when you follow chef Frank Stitt’s lead and infuse your mixture with fresh herbs or other aromatics. A large bunch of mint, basil, lemon peel, cinnamon, cardamom, or anything else you please. Drop your choice of flavoring into the hot syrup and let it infuse at least 2 hours and, preferably, overnight, in the refrigerator. Strain the syrup and use it to sweeten anything you desire. It’s that simple.
Bottega Favorita

Adapted From

Bottega Favorita

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Serving: 1 tablespoonCalories: 48 kcalCarbohydrates: 12 gSodium: 1 mgSugar: 12 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2008 Frank Stitt. Photo © 2008 Bob Carey. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

The name says it all: simple. You’ll find this in my refrigerator at all times. The grandkids use it to make lemonade or limeade. They use equal parts water, juice, and simple syrup. They also use it in Kool-Aid. The other day at work when the sangria we made was a little tart, we used simple syrup to sweeten it so there wouldn’t be any undissolved sugar. The possibilities are endless.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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