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The 5 Best Substitutes for Simple Syrup

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What is simple syrup? It’s just sugar and water, right? WRONG.

Simple syrup is a key ingredient in a lot of cocktails and other drinks, and it’s not as simple as you might think.

There are a few different ways to make it, and each has its own flavor profile.

In this article, we’ll explore the different types of simple syrup and how to use them in your drinks.

We’ll also provide some substitutes for simple syrup in case you can’t find it at your local store.

So whether you’re a bartender or a home drinker, read on to learn everything you need to know about simple syrup.

What’s Simple Syrup?

Simple syrup is a clear, sweet liquid made from sugar and water.

It’s frequently used in cocktails, giving them a sweet flavor without the gritty texture of granulated sugar.

Simple syrup is also used in baking and other cooking applications.

The origins of simple syrup are unclear, but it is thought to have first been used in the Middle Ages.

At that time, sugar was very expensive, so simple syrup was likely only used by the wealthy.

Today, simple syrup is much more affordable and widely available.

It can be found in most grocery stores or made at home with just a few ingredients.

The simple syrup has a sweet, smooth taste with no pronounced flavor.

It is often used to sweeten beverages or as a flavorless alternative to granulated sugar.

Simple syrup can also be infused with flavors like mint, ginger, or citrus.

To use simple syrup, simply add it to your desired beverage or food.

The amount you’ll need will vary depending on how sweet you want your drink or dish to be.

Start with a small amount and add more as needed until you reach the desired sweetness level.

If you’re not using infused simple syrup, you can also add a few drops of extract or flavor to taste.

Simple syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Simple Syrup

If you’re out of simple syrup or just looking for a healthier alternative, here are the five best substitutes for simple syrup.

1 – Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is a sweetener that is derived from the agave plant.

It has a mild, neutral flavor and is about 60% as sweet as sugar.

Agave nectar is a popular choice for those who are looking for a healthier alternative to sugar, as it has a lower glycemic index than sugar.

It is also vegan and gluten-free.

Agave nectar can be used in place of simple syrup in cocktails and other drinks.

To make a simple syrup substitute, combine equal parts agave nectar and water in a saucepan over low heat.

Stir until the agave nectar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and let cool.

2 – Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a staple of Canadian cuisine, and it has a unique flavor that sets it apart from other sweeteners.

It has a rich, complex taste with notes of caramel and vanilla.

Maple syrup is also thicker and more viscous than other syrups, making it ideal for drizzling over pancakes or waffles.

Substituting maple syrup for simple syrup.

Maple syrup can be used as a 1:1 substitute for simple syrup in cocktails and other recipes.

The substitution will add a deeper flavor to your drink, so be sure to adjust the other ingredients accordingly.

You can also use maple syrup to sweeten coffee or tea or even make homemade candy by boiling it down until it becomes thick and sticky.

Whatever way you choose to use it, maple syrup is a delicious way to add sweetness to your food.

3 – Honey

Honey is a sweet treat that has been enjoyed for centuries.

It is made by bees from the nectar of flowers, and its taste and texture vary depending on the type of flower that was used.

Honey is thick and sticky, and it can be used as a spread or as a sweetener in drinks and baking recipes.

It is also a great alternative to simple syrup for making cocktails.

To substitute honey for simple syrup, simply heat it in a pan until it is thinned out and then use it in any recipe that calls for simple syrup.

Honey is a versatile ingredient that can add a unique sweetness to any dish.

4 – Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is a type of sugar that is brown in color and has a slightly molasses-like flavor.

It is made by adding molasses to refined white sugar.

Brown sugar is available in light and dark varieties, with the darker variety having a stronger molasses flavor.

Brown sugar has a moist, soft texture and can be used as a sweetener in baking or as a topping for oatmeal or pancakes.

To substitute brown sugar for simple syrup, mix equal parts brown sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat.

Stir until the brown sugar has dissolved, then let the mixture cool before using.

5 – Molasses

Molasses is a thick, dark syrup that is a byproduct of the sugar refining process.

It has a distinctively rich, earthy flavor that is both sweet and slightly bitter.

Molasses is also very sticky, making it a great choice for recipes that require a thick, sweet syrup.

However, molasses can be difficult to work with due to its sticky texture.

When substituting molasses for simple syrup in a recipe, it is important to add it gradually and whisk it well to prevent it from clumping.

Molasses can also be used in savory recipes, as its deep flavor pairs well with winter squash and root vegetables.

Overall, molasses is a versatile ingredient that can add both sweetness and depth of flavor to a variety of dishes.


In conclusion, simple syrup is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes.

If you are looking for a healthier alternative to sugar, or if you simply want to change up the flavor of your food, there are many different substitutes that you can use.

each of these substitutes will add its own unique flavor to your dish, so be sure to experiment and find the one that you like best.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Simple Syrup

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


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  • Agave Nectar

  • Maple Syrup

  • Honey

  • Brown Sugar

  • Molasses


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

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