I've been making simple syrups for homemade cocktails for over 10 years now. With that in mind, I've learned a few success tips for getting it right the first time. This easy strawberry simple syrup recipe is a great way to add the floral and fruity flavor of strawberries to cocktails, mocktails, and more!
If you have a recipe that calls for simple syrup (or any other sweetener like agave or honey), you can use this strawberry simple syrup for a blast of strawberry flavor. It is a wonderful addition to this Strawberry Frozé recipe! Margaritas? How about strawberry margaritas?! Heck, you can even use it to jazz up your latte like in this recipe for an iced strawberry latte.Jump to Recipe
- strawberries - You can make this recipe from fresh or frozen berries. Even the best intentions can go awry when it comes to delicate strawberries. Sometimes it seems like you can’t even make it home from the grocery store before the berries start molding. This recipe is perfect for using berries that might not have too much time left in them.
- granulated sugar - plain ole granulated sugar will do the trick. If you're looking to get fancy, you can use specialty sugars like maple sugar, coconut sugar, or demerara sugar. The darker the sugar you use, the more caramelized the flavor will be. For a nice, straightforward strawberry flavor, use regular white granulated sugar.
- filtered water - you can't make a simple syrup without water! Filtered water will taste best, as it won't be coming to a full rolling boil.
- lemon - In order to highlight the flavor of the strawberries a little more, I add the juice from half a smaller-sized lemon. It turns out to be about a tablespoon or so of juice. The zesty citrus brightens up the flavor of the strawberries, bringing the floral notes front and center!
Step 1: Remove the leaves from the berries and hull them. Slice and juice your lemon.
Step 2: Combine the water and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and heat to a simmer, until the sugar dissolves.
Step 3: Add in about 12 medium-sized berries and let the mixture gently simmer for 20 minutes. Also add in your lemon juice at this time if you are using it. The berries will lose a little color, and start to collapse a bit. That's a good sign-- it means the flavor is being extracted into the syrup!
Step 4: Once the mixture cools, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve and store it in an airtight container of your choice.
Now, you can add the sweet strawberry flavor to any beverage you choose. You can also freeze the excess to use later if you won’t be using it all within a week or two!
📌 how to use strawberry simple syrup
This recipe works best as a strawberry syrup for cocktails and other beverages.
Simple syrup is thinner than syrup, like pancake syrup or dessert sauces, so it will be too watery to top desserts with. You can still use it on food, but just be aware that it will be thin and may soak into porous foods quickly.
Use this in place of regular simple syrup in any cocktail recipe. It works especially well in tequila, vodka, and rum-based cocktails!
- classic strawberry daiquiris - shaken, not frozen! Use this syrup in a traditional daiquiri recipe for a strawberry twist.
- strawberry mojitos - strawberry and mint are a delightful combination in a cocktail.
- strawberry frozé - this popular frozen summer cocktail is surprisingly easy to make at home!
You can also use this strawberry simple syrup to sweeten non-alcoholic beverages and mocktails! I love using it in iced coffee.
- strawberry lemonade - instead of using sugar in a lemonade recipe, use this syrup!
- homemade strawberry Italian sodas - check out this recipe for a creamy and sweet homemade soda.
- strawberry iced lattes - this strawberry syrup is one of my favorite things to keep on hand for my morning coffee!
- strawberry iced tea - sweeten your iced tea with this strawberry simple syrup for a delightfully refreshing beverage!
Cooking & Baking
- keep baked goods moist: Use this simple syrup to brush layer cakes and keep them moist between layers! The strawberry flavor would pair well with cake flavors like lemon, vanilla, and even chocolate!
- 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 - If you allow your syrup to cook for longer, it will be thicker, like a rich syrup, and the flavor will be more intense. It will also be considerably sweeter and may not mix as easily into beverages with just a spoon.
⚖️ Scaling Tips - This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to make a large batch, perfect for gifting to family and friends. If you double the recipe, be sure to use a larger pot so you have room for the ingredients!
🔆 top tip
You can make this recipe using fresh or frozen berries. If you are using frozen berries, use more berries to maximize the flavor in the 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.
♻️ substitutions & variations
Are you missing an ingredient? Need to make a substitution? Don't worry. Here are some tried and tested subs for this recipe!
- lime instead of lemon - strawberry and lime are possibly EVEN BETTER together than strawberry and lemon juice.
- frozen berries - you can 100% use frozen strawberries to make strawberry syrup. You may need to simmer for just a bit longer, or use more berries to get the same flavor.
Feeling like a rebel?! 😈 Make this recipe your own with one of the following variations.
- minty - add a sprig of mint to the syrup as it simmers, for up to 10 minutes, for a minty variation on this syrup.
- basil - strawberry and basil go SO WELL together. Add about 10 whole leaves of basil when the syrup is simmering to make a strawberry basil simple syrup!
- use another berry - try using a different berry or another fruit altogether if you don't have strawberries on hand.
🧰 equipment needed & storage tips
🧰 tools needed
The fanciest piece of equipment you need is a fine mesh sieve or strainer. If you're a semi-regular home cook, you likely have everything you need on hand!
- fine mesh strainer - use a non-reactive fine mesh strainer to keep larger strawberry pieces out of your simple syrup.
- saucepan - I love our All-Clad d5 cookware because it heats evenly and retains heat well. I use a 1.5 quart saucepan for this recipe, and it works great. Use any non-reactive heavy-bottom sauce pan you have!
- measuring cup - you’ll need to measure your ingredients, and this glass measuring cup does the perfect job.
- storage container - These glass stopper bottles are great for storage, and they look great, too. For versatility, you cannot beat these plastic squeeze bottles by OXO. I love portioning out simple syrups and freezing them for later in the year.
- silicone spatula - a silicone spatula is a great tool to use for making simple syrups because it doesn't absorb or give off flavor while heat-cooking. It also stays cool to the touch, so you don't need to worry about it getting too hot to hold. I love using spatulas like this one from GIR.
Your strawberry simple syrup will stay in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks, or up to three months in the freezer.
Check out some freezing tips here in this post all about how to freeze simple syrup! 🤓
No way, you can actually use frozen strawberries, too. Increase the quantity to about 15-20 berries to accommodate for any loss of flavor.
This syrup will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to two weeks in the fridge. You can portion the syrup out into ice cube trays and freeze for longer storage.
Use it in ANY beverage, from morning coffee to 5 o'clock cocktails. But wait! It’s not just for drinks! You can also use this simple syrup as a topping on shave ice, though I wouldn't use it for other dessert toppings as it will be too thin.
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.
Yes, you can use the whole berry, leaves and hulls included, but this will impact the final flavor. In order to get the most berry-forward flavor, trim your berries of the green leaves and hulls. Strawberry hulls do not have a pleasant flavor, and they can actually impart a bitter flavor to your final product if the berries are not ripe.
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Strawberry Simple Syrup
- 12 strawberries medium-sized, washed & hulled.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed, from half a small lemon
- Rinse, trim, & hull 12 medium-sized strawberries, then roughly chop them.
- Combine 200 g of granulated sugar (1 cup) and 236 g of water (1 cup) in a saucepan.
- Heat the pan over medium heat to dissolve the sugar in the water. Be careful not to bring it to a boil.
- Add the strawberries to the sugar and water mixture, and let them simmer over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes. The liquid will reduce a bit, increasing the viscosity and making the syrup thicker.
- Juice half of a small lemon into the mixture, you should have about one tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Remove the pan from heat.
- Allow the mixture to cool. This should take about 30 minutes. For rapid cooling, you can place the saucepan into a larger bowl that has been filled with ice cubes and cold water.
- Once cooled, strain the mixture using a fine-mesh sieve into an airtight container.
- Store in the fridge for up to two weeks, or freeze for longer storage.