How long your simple syrup last depends on how you store it, whether it is homemade syrup or store-bought, and the ingredients and flavorings used to make it. I am going to concisely break this down for you and give you tips to extend the shelf life of simple syrup.
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- How to Store Simple Syrup
- How Long Does Simple Syrup Last
- How to Freeze Simple Syrup
- Can You Store Simple Syrup at Room Temperature?
- The Best Simple Syrup Storage Containers
- How to Extend the Shelf Life of Simple Syrup
- How to Tell if Your Simple Syrup Has Gone Bad
- What is Simple Syrup?
- How Do You Make It?
- Simple Syrup Recipes
How to Store Simple Syrup
The most common method of storing simple syrup is refrigeration. Liquid sweeteners like simple syrup should be stored in the fridge in a container with an airtight lid.
You can store simple syrup in a glass container or a plastic container. Just make sure it is a sterile container so you can maximize the shelf life.
How Long Does Simple Syrup Last
Simple syrup can last 2 weeks up to 6 months when properly refrigerated. Grocery store syrups will have a longer shelf life than homemade syrups. And plain syrup will last longer than flavor.
Most homemade simple syrups will last about a month in the fridge when stored in an airtight container. A thicker rich simple syrup (i.e. 2:1 sugar to water) will last up to 6 months.
How long your flavored syrup last depends on the additions. Fresh fruit syrups, like our blackberry syrup, will last about two weeks. The caveat here is that citrus syrup like a lemon syrup will last up to a month.
Syrups made with dried spices, like cinnamon or cardamom, will last up to 4 weeks.
Because many flavored simple syrups are still clear always add a label so you know what is what.
How to Freeze Simple Syrup
All types of simple syrups can be easily frozen. To freeze simple syrup, I suggest freezing the cooled syrup in silicone ice cube trays and then transferring it to a zip-top bag to prevent freezer burn.
I don't recommend using a glass container for freezing. But if you do leave plenty of head space.
The frozen simple syrup will last up to a year, maybe more, if properly stored.
Thaw out in the fridge and use as normal.
Can You Store Simple Syrup at Room Temperature?
Technically plain syrups can last for a few weeks at stored in a dark cabinet in a proper container. However, they are much more susceptible to spoilage.
For this reason, I suggest you play it safe and store it in the refrigerator.
The Best Simple Syrup Storage Containers
The best way to store your simple syrup is in an airtight glass bottle or glass jar.
Some people prefer to use squeeze bottles. Squirt bottles are fine for bartenders but they don't always have tight-fitting caps at their pointed end which can be an issue for home cooks.
Plastic bottles are fine for plain syrups but I don't recommend them for long-term storage of flavored syrups.
And these are the silicone trays I use for freezing.
How to Extend the Shelf Life of Simple Syrup
There are two ways to extend the shelf life of syrup.
- Add Vodka- Adding a neutral flavored spirit, about 1 tablespoon per 2 cups of syrup, will extend the shelf life.
- Make a Rich Simple Syrup- Make a syrup with a higher sugar content, at least 2:1 sugar to water.
How to Tell if Your Simple Syrup Has Gone Bad
The most common way to tell if a simple has gone bad. If it has a cloudy appearance or has anything floating in it (i.e. mold) it is time to toss it out.
Additionally, any off or bitter smells mean it is time to go. This will be most prevalent with syrups that are darker in color.
Crystalized simple syrup can be reheated over medium heat until the sugar crystals dissolve. Note this only applies to plain simple syrup and not flavored versions.
What is Simple Syrup?
Simple syrup is a versatile ingredient used in various cocktails, desserts, and beverages like iced tea and lemonade. It is a basic syrup made by dissolving sugar in water.
The standard ratio for simple syrup is 1:1, meaning equal parts of sugar and water. However, you can also make variations with different sugar-to-water ratios to achieve a thinner or thicker consistency.
Or add flavors such as fresh herbs or fruit to enhance your recipes.
How Do You Make It?
To make a basic simple syrup, you will need to dissolve 1 part sugar in 1 part water. Because simple syrup keeps for a long time, most recipes start with 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water.
You heat the ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat. Use a whisk to help the sugar dissolve. Once finished you should cool to room temperature before using in cocktail recipes or on cakes.
Note you can use any type of granulated sugar in your homemade simple syrup including demerara sugar, brown sugar, and coconut sugar.
Check out our simple syrup substitutes for options other than sugar like maple syrup or honey.