BAR BASICS: Simple Syrup

In addition to cocktails, it’s part of my goal here at Cocktails, 365 to provide my faithful readers with the necessary tools to make the cocktails listed here. One ingredient that I have constantly brought up — and probably the most versatile mixer you can have in your repertoire — is simple syrup. Like anything, you can purchase this. But do yourself, and your pocket book, a favor by making your own syrup in your kitchen. Trust me, there’s a reason this is called SIMPLE syrup.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is an extremely clean glass bottle to store your simple syrup. Again, to save money, I always keep an eye on interesting bottles I have in my bar. Once empty, I’ll usually safe these for homemade syrups, cordials and bitters. It’s pretty dang easy to get your glass bottle clean enough to store your new mixers. Here are the steps I follow:

  1. Soak bottle in warm, soapy water to remove all the labels.
  2. Clean inside of bottle using hot water and a small amount of dish soap.
  3. Thoroughly rinse bottle to ensure ALL soap is gone. I usually place it under the faucet and allow it to run until water runs clear with no bubbles.
  4. Boil water on your stove, then rinse your glass out twice with the boiling water. Drain and cool.

While cooling, you can make your syrup.

Simple Syrup

2 cups sugar

1 cup distilled water

In a small saucepan, bring your water and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for about three minutes, until all the sugar has fully dissolved and you have a clear, syrup consistency. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, funnel into your bottle. Store in the fridge and use as needed. Don’t hold onto it too long, or else you’ll be rocking some rock sugar in a few weeks.

See? Simple! And it’s an incredibly easy way to add a little bit of sweet to a drink that may need it!


— Mark


  1. […] it all depends on your base cocktail. One mixer you cannot live without in your bar, however, is simple syrup. As for packaged cocktail mixes? Never touch the […]

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