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Bartender Skills: Sugar Syrup, a.k.a. Simple Syrup

sugar water in a pan
Simple syrup is very... simple to make!

Many cocktail recipes call for sugar syrup, but it’s not something that everyone is likely to have hanging around their kitchen cupboards. However, the good news is that it’s incredibly easy to make at home!

To make a regular sugar syrup, simply combine one part sugar with one part water. For example, pour 1L water into a pan and add 1kg white sugar. Then, gently heat over low-to-medium heat on your kitchen hob, stirring regularly. As soon as the sugar has dissolved, your syrup is ready; let it cool and then decant into a clean bottle.

If kept chilled in the fridge, regular sugar syrup will last about a month but eventually, spoil and grow mould. You can extend the shelf life by making a ‘rich’ sugar syrup which is two parts sugar, to one part water… and adding a slug of vodka will also make it last a little longer.

If you need to make sugar syrup on the hoof, combining sugar and water in an airtight container and giving it a vigorous shake will also create something workable.

You can use any sugar for sugar syrup, but brown sugar is preferable for drinks such as mojito, while a Daiquiri does well with white sugar. Nevertheless, experiment at home and see what your preferred sugar syrup mix is.


By Nick Mosley @brightonn1ck. This story first appeared on @thehaguecocktailweek


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