Growing up in Florida meant we had pineapples around almost year-round. Now, I have no less than 15 pineapple plants in my backyard, which means I’m an expert at figuring out ways to use pineapple in the kitchen! This pineapple simple syrup is the perfect way to enjoy the fresh flavor of pineapples on anything you can imagine!
Use it in cocktail recipes, like for a tropical pineapple coconut margarita, or use it in non-alcoholic beverages for the whole family, like a pineapple mint lemonade or a homemade pineapple soda. You can also drizzle it on a layer cake moist by brushing it on the layers. The options are endless, and the best part is you can make a batch in less than an hour!Jump to Recipe
💕 why you'll love this pineapple simple syrup recipe
🍍 tropical and fruity. This pineapple syrup imparts the fruity tropical flavor of pineapple into anything you put it in!
🙌 quick and easy. The bulk of the preparation time for this syrup is hands-off, meaning it’s great for a quick project!
🤌 limited ingredient. It only takes four ingredients to make this syrup!
- pineapple - fresh pineapple works best for this recipe, but you can also use frozen. If you want to use canned pineapple, be sure to select a variety that is canned in pineapple juice, not in a sugar syrup, which would be way too sweet for this recipe. I love using fresh pineapple because I use the core in this recipe, which would normally be too tough to eat, so it makes a great use of a part of the fruit that normally may get thrown away!
- granulated sugar - regular granulated sugar works perfectly in this recipe, but if you want to use a sugar with a stronger molasses flavor like brown sugar, dark brown sugar, or even demerara sugar, you can do that, too. Keep in mind the darker the sugar, the more caramelized the flavor will be! If you want a clean, pure, pineapple taste, stick with plain white sugar.
- filtered water - this recipe uses filtered water to make a simple syrup first, followed by infusing that syrup with the pineapple. Filtered water is preferred so that you don’t get any wonky flavors from your water.
- lemon - I like adding a bit of fresh lemon juice to my fruity simple syrups to bring out the flavor of the fruit that is added. Additionally, lemon juice helps prolong the freshness of the syrup.
See recipe card for quantities.
Step 1: Add 1 cup water to a 1.5-quart saucepan.
Step 3: Cook over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved.
Step 5: Cut your pineapple into chunks, about 1-inch big.
Step 2: Add 1 cup of sugar to the water in the saucepan.
Step 4: While the sugar dissolves in the water, cut the top and skin off the pineapple, then cut it in half.
Step 6: At this point, your sugar-water mix should be bubbling. Add in pineapple, and cook over medium heat at a simmer for 20 - 30 minutes. Some water will evaporate, this is okay!
Step 7: Add in the lemon juice.
Step 8: Allow the syrup to cool for up to 20 minutes.
Step 9: Strain the mix using a stainless steel mesh strainer. Discard the solids or use them in a smoothie, or blend them into a sauce for desserts!
Step 10: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks, or freeze for longer storage.
Hint: While you can cut and process a pineapple using just a knife and cutting board, a pineapple corer is a worthwhile investment if you find yourself using a lot of the fruit throughout the year!
📌 how to use this pineapple simple syrup
Simple syrups are best used in beverages because they are so thin in consistency. Since it is so thin, it doesn't work well for topping desserts like ice cream or on breakfast foods like waffles and pancakes. You can still use it on food, but just be aware that it will be thin and may soak into porous foods quickly.
Cocktails: Use this in place of regular simple syrup in any cocktail recipe. It works especially well in rum, tequila, and vodka-based cocktails!
- pineapple vodka sodas
- pineapple mules
- pineapple margaritas
Non-Alcoholic Beverages: You can also use this pineapple fruit simple syrup to sweeten non-alcoholic beverages and mocktails! I love using it in iced coffee.
- homemade pineapple soda
- pineapple iced tea
Keep baked goods moist: Use this simple syrup to brush layer cakes and keep them moist between layers!
Homemade shave ice topping: This syrup works very well as a homemade shave ice topping.
💡 tips and tricks for getting it right
ℹ️ Troubleshooting Tips - Make sure to select a ripe pineapple. Pineapples don’t ripen much after being harvested, contrary to popular belief. The more yellow a pineapple is, the riper it is, so avoid greener fruit if you can.
⚖️ Scaling Tips - This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you need a large batch or want to make extra to gift to family and friends!
🔆 top tip
This recipe can be made using the entire core of the pineapple! That means you can save more juicy pineapple for snacking!
🍍How to pick the perfect pineapple:
- Feel: a ripe pineapple will yield and feel slightly soft when you squeeze it. Under all those spikes, that is. If the pineapple doesn’t squeeze and feels, well…like a rock, pick another pineapple!
- Smell: give the base of your pineapple a sniff. Pineapple will smell tropical, fruity, and floral when ripe. If it’s overripe, it will smell kind of funky or sour, maybe even fermented. Skip that pineapple and go for another one!
- Color: ripe pineapples are yellow in color. The more golden, the better. Green pineapples won’t turn much more yellow because pineapples don’t ripen after being picked.
♻️ 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 - if you only have light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, or a natural less-processed sugar, you can still make this recipe! Your finished syrup will have a more caramelized flavor. You can also use agave or honey if you only have that on hand. 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. As a general rule, use ⅛ cup less honey than sugar, and ¼ cup less agave than sugar.
- no-heat - follow the no-cook method of making this recipe if you don’t have a non-reactive pot or pan. This method takes a little longer than the cooking method, but it is more hands off! If you need to use your syrup the day of, I’d recommend using the cooking method.
Feeling like a rebel?! 😈 Feel free to stray from the recipe card using these variations, or leave me a comment with your own!
- minty - add in a handful of fresh mint leaves to make the perfect syrup for pineapple mojitos!
- ginger - the spicy flavor of ginger partners beautifully with pineapple. Adding in a bit of fresh grated ginger or a bit of powdered ginger will turn this into a totally new syrup!
- spicy - pineapples and peppers pair well together! Try adding in some jalapeño pepper or habanero pepper if you want a little kick to your pineapple syrup!
🧰 equipment needed & storage tips
🧰 tools needed
- heavy-bottomed non-reactive 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! A non-reactive pan is a pan that is made from a metal that doesn’t react to acidic substances, like stainless steel or enameled cast iron. Pineapple juice is very acidic, so if you use an aluminum pot or pan, it could impart a metallic taste into your syrup. If you don’t have a non-reactive pan, try the no-heat method for making this syrup.
- mesh strainer a fine mesh strainer helps you to separate the pineapple from the liquid after simmering the mixture. Make sure to use a mesh strainer that is made of stainless steel, or use a nylon straining bag for this recipe.
- 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.
- kitchen scale - using a kitchen scale has so many benefits, from being more precise to helping you do less dishes! If you use a scale, you can simply put everything right in the pot as you measure it, no need to dirty up a bunch of extra dishes! I have and love this scale from OXO.
Store your pineapple 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.
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!
You can use canned pineapple or even frozen pineapple for this recipe! Just make sure that the only ingredient is pineapple.
You can make this syrup in a no-cook way through maceration. Maceration is when you combine the fruit with sugar, and allow the sugar molecules to draw out the moisture in the fruit. Follow the instructions for the no-cook method if you prefer not to heat your syrup!
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 in infusion, whereas 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 and make it a rich syrup, which has a higher sugar content than water content.
🧐 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.
If you make this recipe, please leave a review in the comments and a star rating!
I read every single comment! I also love connecting on social media, so snap a pic and hashtag it #myrecipeforfun and tag me on Instagram, TikTok, or pin this recipe on Pinterest!
Pineapple Simple Syrup
- 500 g pineapple about ½ of a whole pineapple, or 3 ½ cups
- 200 g sugar granulated
- 227 g water filtered
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Add 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water in a 1.5-quart saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved.
- While the sugar is dissolving, cut top and skin off the pineapple, then cut it in half.
- Cut ½ of the pineapple into 1-inch chunks, including the core.
- Add in the pineapple chunks to the sugar-water mix, which should be bubbling by now, and cook over medium heat at a simmer for 20 - 30 minutes. Some water will evaporate, this is okay!
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.
- Strain the mix using a stainless steel mesh strainer. Discard the solids (or use them in a smoothie, or blend them into a sauce for desserts).
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks, or freeze for longer storage.