Demerara syrup is a simple syrup on a whole other level. Our demerara simple syrup recipe has only 2 ingredients, takes 5 minutes to make, and can be used in cocktails, baking, and savory recipes. With a deep rich flavor, it makes the perfect homemade gift.
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Demerara syrup is popular for winter and fall cocktails featuring whiskey, bourbon, rye, or spiced rum. But I also think it pairs well with mezcal. I use it in our mezcal paloma whenever I have some on hand.
Plus it makes a great last-minute gift for the holidays. But I love to give demerara syrup as a homemade housewarming gift.
- 📖Why This Recipe Works
- 🧾What is demerara sugar?
- 🧾What is the best substitute for demerara sugar?
- 💭Demerara Simple Syrup Flavors
- ⏲️How to Make Demerara Syrup
- 🌡️How to Store Demerara Syrup
- Expert Tips
- 🍸How to Use Demerara Syrup
- More Simple Syrup Recipes
- 💭 Frequently Asked Questions
- 📖 Printable Recipe Card
📖Why This Recipe Works
- Gluten-free, vega, and vegetarian
- Cost 80% less than premade demerara syrups
- Can be used in a variety of ways
- Flavor variations are unlimited, add you own twist to the natural caramel flavor.
🧾What is demerara sugar?
Demerara sugar is a minimally processed sugar. The minimal processing gives it a golden-brown color and it has large grains that give it a crunchy texture. The taste is deeper than turbinado sugar
Demerara sugar originated from the British colony of Demerara, now called Guyana. But most often the sugar is now sourced from Africa.
🧾What is the best substitute for demerara sugar?
Turbinado sugar is the closest substitute for demerara. Turbinado has a caramel-like flavor. Whereas demerara sugar has deeper molasses-like flavor.
Raw sugar would be the next best substitute when making simple syrup. And light brown sugar for baking applications.
💭Demerara Simple Syrup Flavors
Quantities listed for our flavored simple syrups are for the 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water ratio. Add flavors to the pan when simmering. Allow the syrup to cool and then strain out when transferring to your storage container.
Ginger- Peel and slice 4 ounces for fresh ginger.
Vanilla- Slice open on vanilla bean pod. One pod can be used to infuse up to 4 times the quantity of sugar.
Cinnamon- Add one large or two small cinnamon stick.
Christmas Spice- Add one cinnamon stick, 2 star anise, a few allspice berries (dried, whole), and 2 to 3 whole cloves,
Salted Carmel- Add ¼ teaspoon of salt per cup of sugar.
Orange- Add the zest of one orange.
⏲️How to Make Demerara Syrup
Step 1- Dissolve
Add the demerara sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Use a whisk or wooden spoon to gently stir until sugar is dissolved.
Step 2- Cool
Let cool, then pour into a glass jar or bottle and seal tightly with a lid. A funnel comes in handy for this part.
🌡️How to Store Demerara Syrup
Homemade Demerara syrup should be kept in the fridge. The simple syrup will keep like this for at least one month before getting cloudy. To store longer, double the sugar, a 2 to 1 ratio. This will actually extend the shelf life.
Adding a small amount of vodka, roughly < 1 teaspoon per 8 ounces will extend the shelf life.
Infused syrups will only keep for two weeks, see my post storing simple syrups for more info.
- Do not boil the syrup. We want it nice and smooth. We don't want to push simple syrups to one of the candy stages.
- When substituting demerara syrup for honey in recipes go light. About 50% less if usually sweet enough.
🍸How to Use Demerara Syrup
Demerara syrup can be used in place of any plain simple syrup. But it pairs better with some flavors than others. I love it in iced coffee or flavored iced tea, whiskey smashes, old fashions, and pretty much any spiced rum drink.
I am not a fan of it in lighter drinks like margaritas or most spritzes.
More Simple Syrup Recipes
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
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📖 Printable Recipe Card
- 1 cup demerara sugar
- 1 cup water
- Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat.1 cup demerara sugar, 1 cup water
- Stir until sugar is dissolved. Do not bring the water to a boil.
- Let cool, then pour into a glass jar and seal tightly with a lid.
- Demerara syrup will keep, refrigerated, for one month. Adding a small amount of vodka (< 1 teaspoon) will extend the shelf life.
- Infused syrups will keep for two weeks. See post for recommendations.
- The best substitutes for demerara sugar in simple syrups are turbinado, raw sugar, and honey. Always at a 2 to 1 ratio.
- Small Saucepan
- Small Glass Bottles