Living in the sunshine state means I'm pretty much an expert at all things tropical, and tropical beverages are no exception. The sweet, lush, almost berry-melon like flavor of kiwis is absolutely made to be in beverages. This kiwi simple syrup is perfect for incorporating the flavor of kiwis into cocktails, mocktails, and more!
Simple syrups are best for incorporating into liquids because their infused flavor mixes in to any beverage, hot or cold, with ease. Use this kiwi syrup to make a batch of kiwi mojitos or your own homemade kiwi soda pop! If you want to explore even more tropical simple syrups, check out my recipe for passion fruit simple syrup, too!Jump to Recipe
💕 why you'll love this kiwi simple syrup
🥝 flavor-packed. Made with peak-season kiwifruits, full of sweet and sour fruity flavor! Kiwis taste kind of like a cross between a strawberry and a pineapple, with hints of melon flavor too!
🙌 super simple. Most of the cooking time is hands-off, meaning you don't need to stand in front of the stove all day.
🤌 limited ingredient. Uses a total of three ingredients— that’s it!
- kiwis - Kiwi fruits are available year-round, but the peak season for kiwi grown in the United States is October through May. They have a fuzzy, brown exterior but inside they are bright, almost neon green, and filled with tiny black seeds. Choose fruits that yield slightly to pressure— if they are hard, they are not yet ripe. If they are wrinkly or soft, they are overripe.
- granulated sugar - regular granulated sugar is perfect for simple syrups, though you can definitely swap out the sugar for your favorite sweetener of choice. Keep in mind, using a natural sugar or darker sugar will impact the flavor of the finished syrup, so sticking with white sugar is recommended.
- filtered water - filtered water works best for simple syrups since the water will not be cooking at a rolling boil for long enough to purify it.
- lemon - lemon juice is one of my favorite "secret ingredients" for boosting flavor. In order to highlight the flavor of the kiwi a little more, add the juice from a lemon. The zesty citrus brightens up the flavor of the kiwi, bringing the tropical notes front and center!
See recipe card for quantities.
🥝 all about kiwi fruit
- how to pick a kiwi - select fruit that has a bit of a squish to it when you gently press it. If a kiwi is as hard as a rock, they aren't ripe yet. If it's very soft or wrinkly, it's overripe.
- kiwi flavor pairings - think tropical for flavor pairings. Kiwi fruit goes great with pineapple, strawberry, passionfruit, citrus (oranges, lemons, limes), and coconut!
- gold kiwi vs green kiwi - green kiwi is more tangy, tart, or sour. Green kiwi also has a fuzzier exterior, a larger core, and more seeds. Golden kiwi is much sweeter, with fewer seeds, lezz fuzz on the outside, and a smaller core.
Step 1: Peel and slice your kiwis. The easiest way to peel a kiwi is to slice of both ends, and use a spoon to peel the fruit! Push a spoon into one end of the kiwi, and rotate it until it comes free from the peel. No special peelers are needed!
Step 2: Slice the kiwi into quarters.
Step 3: In a 1.5 quart saucepan, combine the water and granulated sugar. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat to dissolve the sugar.
Step 4: Once the sugar is dissolved, add in the kiwi and allow the mixture to cook at a rolling simmer for about 10 minutes. Then, add in the lemon juice.
Step 5: Continue to cook the syrup for about 15 - 20 minutes, until the kiwi have lost most of their color and the liquid has taken on the color of the kiwis. If you want a thicker syrup, cook the syrup a bit longer. I've cooked it for up to 45 minutes with consistent results.
Step 6: After 15-20 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for up to 30 minutes. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve, and discard the solids.
Step 7: Store your syrup in an airtight container for up to two weeks, or freeze it for longer storage!
Hint: If you want a thicker syrup, cook the liquid down for longer, or make a rich syrup.
🧐 what is a rich syrup?
A rich syrup is a syrup that has a higher sugar content than water content.
- Simple syrup has a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water.
- Rich syrup has a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water, so if you use 1 cup of sugar, use ½ cup of water.
This will change the ratio of sugar to water, meaning if you want to freeze the syrup for longer storage, it won’t freeze completely solid. This can be useful for quickly defrosting the syrup, though! If you want to freeze rich syrup, opt to use a bottle over ice cube trays because things will get sticky.
💡 tips and tricks for getting it right
🍽️ Serving Tips - Use your kiwi simple syrup to make a variety of beverages, like kiwi lemonade or kiwi soda pop. You can also use it to make a homemade cocktail, like a kiwi mojito! Try it homemade shave ice, or drizzled on layer cakes. This kiwi syrup would be especially great drizzled on strawberry shortcake!
ℹ️ Troubleshooting Tips - Make sure your pots, pans, and mesh sieve are non-reactive metal like stainless steel or enameled cast iron. Aluminum or regular cast iron can impart a metallic flavor into dishes that are acidic, like this syrup.
⚖️ Scaling Tips - This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you want more kiwi simple syrup! It's also a great gift for family and friends!
🔆 top tip
Set a timer on your watch or phone so you don’t forget about your simmering simple syrup! 😉 Cook it for longer if you want a thicker, more intensely flavored syrup.
♻️ substitutions & variations
Missing an ingredient? No problem. Check out these tried-and-true substitutions, or comment below with your question. I’m here to help you troubleshoot!
- sweetener - you can use the sweetener of your choice in place of granulated sugar. Just be mindful that the flavor of the syrup will change slightly, and you may need to adjust the sweetness by adding more agave or honey to your liking.
I would not recommend using artificial sweeteners in this recipe, as they will alter the texture of the finished product and are designed to taste much sweeter than regular sweeteners.
Feeling like a rebel?! Feel free to stray from the recipe card using these variations, or leave me a comment with your own!
- strawberry-kiwi - add 8-10 strawberries along with the kiwi fruits to make a strawberry-kiwi syrup!
- darker sugar - use a darker sugar, like demerara or brown sugar, for a deeper, more caramelized flavor to the syrup.
🧰 equipment needed & storage tips
🧰 tools needed
- heavy-bottomed saucepan - you can use whatever saucepan you have on hand, I love this 1.5-quart saucepan from All-Clad. The heavy bottom ensures even heating throughout the cooking time!
- mesh strainer a fine mesh strainer helps you to separate the kiwi from the liquid after simmering the mixture. It also helps keep any kiwi seeds out of your syrup!
- airtight storage you can use any airtight storage container you like. These OXO squeeze bottles are a favorite of mine for storing symple syrups because you can also stash them in the freezer. These glass bottles are great for gifting simple syrups to friends and family. You can also use a mason jar!
- measuring cups - my favorite measuring cups are from King Arthur Baking! They are a high-quality set that includes every cup measure you need, even ⅛ cup! For glass measuring cups, I love using Anchor-Hocking brand cups. They stand up to temperature changes without shattering, and I never have issues with the pour spout.
Store your kiwi simple syrup in the fridge for up to two weeks, or freeze it for longer storage. In the freezer, simple syrups can last three to five months. Want your syrup to last even longer? add in 1 tablespoon of 80-proof vodka or Everclear.
The syrup won’t totally freeze as the sugar content is higher than the water content, so it will remain a kind of “gel” like consistency. This is actually super useful because it will be easier to use when you need it!
The acidity of the lemon juice balances out the sweetness of the syrup, and it also helps the flavor of the kiwi to pop!
Simple syrup is much more liquid than syrup, which is thicker and more viscous. This is due to the preparation of the two. Simple syrup is an infusion, where as syrup is made with fruit puree. Syrup will be thicker than simple syrup, but thinner than a homemade jam.
After it cools and when stored in the fridge, it will thicken up. It will not be as thick as a sauce or jam, though. It will be mostly liquid, with a little bit of viscosity to it.
Think of it like the flavored syrups you see pumping out at your favorite coffee shops. This allows it to easily blend in with hot or cold beverages without clumping.
If you want a thicker syrup, you can let your infusion simmer a bit longer so the liquid reduces. This will also intensify the flavor.
Technically, you can make a simple syrup by combining the ingredients and letting them infuse in the fridge or on the counter, then straining. I prefer to cook the syrup because it gets a bit thicker and more intensely flavored.
I also tend to forget about jars that go into my fridge. Sometimes out of sight = out of mind. 😅 This method also takes a lot longer, so you have to plan a few days in advance. If you want to use simple syrup shortly after making it, this method is the way to go!
If you make this recipe, please leave a review in the comments and a star rating!
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Kiwi Simple Syrup
- 1 1.5-quart saucepan non-reactive metal, like stainless steel
- 1 fine mesh sieve non-reactive metal, like stainless steel
- 1 set of measuring cups thermal shock-resistent material, like thick glass.
- 1 silicone spatula I love using GIR brand
- 1 small cutting board for slicing kiwi
- 1 pairing knife for slicing kiwi
- 1 spoon or vegetable peeler for peeling kiwi
- 6 whole kiwi fruits use more fruit for a stronger flavor, you can use up to 10!
- 200 grams granulated sugar 1 cup
- 8 ounces filtered water 1 cup
- Peel and slice your kiwis. The easiest way to peel a kiwi is to slice of both ends, and use a spoon to peel the fruit! Push a spoon into one end of the kiwi, and rotate it until it comes free from the peel. No veggie peelers needed!
- Slice the peeled kiwi into quarters. Set them aside.
- In a 1.5 quart saucepan, combine the water and granulated sugar. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat to dissolve the sugar.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, add in the kiwi and allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes, then add in the lemon juice.
- Continue to cook the syrup for about 15 - 20 minutes, until the kiwi have lost most of their color and the liquid has taken on the color of the kiwis.
- After 15-20 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for up to 30 minutes.
- Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve, and discard the solids.
- Store your syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.