This honey simple syrup recipe is a great example to show you how easy it is to make simple syrups that you can use in cocktails and cakes. Check out the variations below. And don’t be afraid to experiment with making simple syrups in the flavors that you love!
What is a simple syrup?
In its most basic form, a simple syrup is white sugar dissolved in water. Classic simple syrup recipes call for combining equal volumes, like 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. This is a so-called 1 to 1 simple syrup ratio, sometimes written as 1:1.
But that is just the beginning of how you can make simple syrups. If you want less liquid, you can make a “rich” 2 to 1 simple syrup using twice as much sugar as water. Or you can change the type of sweetener you use, like in this honey syrup recipe.
Tips and tricks for this honey syrup
There’s nothing complicated about this honey simple syrup. Combine equal amounts of honey and water in a small pot and heat on low heat just until the honey dissolves into the water. If you cook it at a full boil, the water will begin to boil off and the sugars in your syrup will start to caramelize.
Pour the warm honey syrup into a clean jar and let it cool. The jar doesn’t have to be sterilized like if you were canning because it’s just going to be kept in the refrigerator just a few weeks. A 2 to 1 sugar syrup will usually keep longer than a 1 to 1 simple syrup. Either way, if it’s cloudy, toss it and make a new batch.
Honey syrup cocktails
The cover photo of this post is a chai bourbon old-fashioned made with honey syrup infused with chai (see recipe variation). It’s 2 ounces of your favorite bourbon, 1/2 ounce of the chai honey simple syrup, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters, and garnished with orange peel.
I have also made a Flip using honey syrup. But, really, you can use a honey syrup anywhere that calls for a simple syrup and you want the greater depth and floral flavor of honey.
Other simple syrup recipes for cocktails
Now that you’ve made a honey syrup, now it’s time to have fun! Try different types of honey and see if you can taste the difference between a lavender honey syrup and one made with clover honey. Or use demerara sugar, an unrefined brown sugar.
Here are some other suggestions for cocktails that use simple syrups:
- Spicy margarita with jalapeño simple syrup
- Lady Bridgerton Empress gin cocktail (with Earl grey and lavender simple syrup)
- Gimlets, using lavender or strawberry simple syrup
- Rose syrup French 75 using rose-flavored syrup
- A raspberry jalapeño bramble, with a raspberry syrup made by maceration.
- Porn star martini mocktail with a classic 1:1 sugar syrup
Simple syrups and cakes
Sugar syrups are often used in cake baking to bring moisture to a cake. They can be used to soak layers in multi-layer cakes or the top of a loaf cake. Some times the liquid is water, but it also can be sweetened coffee or lemon juice or any of a number of liquids.
For whichever use, these syrups are made in the exact same way as a simple syrup for use in cocktails. Here are some examples of my cake recipes that use syrups:
- Blackberry Lemon Loaf (lemon syrup)
- Tiramisu Birthday Cake (coffee syrup)
- Chocolate Orange Cake (orange syrup)
- Nutella Babka (simple syrup)
FAQs about this honey syrup recipe and other simple syrups
Yes, there are no concerns in the scientific community about the safety of heated honey in 2022. But it really is true that you should never give honey to a child under 12 months old because of concerns about infant botulism. In young kids, ingestion of Clostridial spores in honey can lead to intestinal bacterial growth and toxin production. This is different from foodborne botulism, which occurs when improper canning allows for anaerobic bacteria growth and toxin production in the food.
Yes, most simple syrups will freeze just fine in ice cube trays. Know that they will take longer to freeze than plain water because the dissolved sugar lowers the freezing point.
Honey Syrup and Chai Honey Syrup Variation
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup honey
- Combine the water and honey in a small pot and heat over low heat until the honey dissolves into the water.1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup honey
- Pour into a small jar and let cool.
- Honey syrup and other simple syrups should be stored in the refrigerator.
If you make this honey syrup for a cocktail, please comment or leave a rating here. Or share a pic with me on Instagram! And please join the #52weeksofcocktails challenge!
Want to read more about syrups? Check out this amazing resource.
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