Cocktail Syrups and How To Make Them

Syrups are the base for many cocktails. These sweet liquids not only balance different tastes such as bitterness and/ or acidity with their sweetness. They actually give a lot of cocktails body.

In this article, we discuss the bases of cocktail syrups and show you how you can easily make cocktails syrups right in your own kitchen.

Sugar syrup

Many cocktail syrups have multiple functionalities. Not only do they add sweetness to the cocktails, but also give a certain body due to the viscosity they possess. A lot of cocktail syrups also add their very own taste. Cinnamon syrup for example gives you the flavor and aromas of, you guessed it, cinnamon.

Some cocktail syrups such as sugar syrup and gomme syrup are only used to add sweetness to drinks. Sugar syrup is the base of all syrups. It's the most common syrup used behind the bar and also, in our opinion, the easiest to make. Take equal parts of granulated white sugar and dissolve it in equal parts of water. This is called simple syrup. A 2:1 ratio of sugar to water is also a thicker syrup and is called rich syrup.

You can make sugar syrup in different ways. Either you bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over heat and dissolve or you dissolve the sugar in hot water. 



Flavored syrups

With flavored syrups, you can let your imagination run wild. It's literally adding flavors to your syrup and there are many ways you can do this. The most common one is to infuse the flavor you want in the syrup itself. E.g.: fresh fruit or herbs, spices etc. Once the desired flavor is achieved, strain the solids out and your syrup is ready. 


Grenadine is your other common bar syrup. This delicious and bright red syrup can also be made at home. Mix two parts of 100% pomegranate juice to one part of table sugar and bring to a gentle simmer. Add a couple of drops of orange blossom water and a teaspoon of pomegranate molasses. Stir gently until the sugar is dissolved and let your syrup cool down.



Want to learn how to make more syrups and other cool cocktail ingredients? Check out the Master Bartender course at the Bols Bartending Academy

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