Simple syrup is an easy and delicious way to add sweetness to your favorite beverages. Cinnamon and star anise infuse this version with a wonderful hint of warm spice.
It couldn't be simpler!
Simple syrup is so easy to make - all you need is sugar and water. Slowly heat the water to dissolve the sugar, creating a clear syrup. Once cooled, you can use this syrup to sweeten your favorite beverages - everything from cocktails and homemade lemonade to coffee drinks and teas.
But did you know you can infuse the syrup with incredible flavors like cinnamon, mint, or thyme (just to name a few)? Just add your choice of spices, fresh herbs, fruit, or citrus to the warm syrup and allow the magic to happen as the syrup cools.
Choose your favorite flavor combinations or seasonal blends. The possibilities are endless!
A basic simple syrup has two ingredients - water and sugar. To make cinnamon simple syrup, just add cinnamon sticks and star anise to the sugar-water mixture to infuse it with warm spice.
Once you discover how "simple" simple syrup is, you may find yourself experimenting with other flavors. Here is some delicious inspiration!
- Vanilla - add a whole vanilla bean
- Lemon thyme - lemon rind and fresh thyme sprigs
- Orange vanilla - orange rind and vanilla bean
- Rosemary - fresh rosemary sprigs
- Jalapeno - jalapeno pepper - remove the seeds and membrane for less heat
- Strawberry basil - fresh strawberries and basil leaves
- Mint - fresh mint leaves. I love adding this syrup to berry fruit salad.
See the recipe card for complete instructions and ingredient amounts.
- Add the sugar and water to a saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. The syrup will be clear when the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Add the cinnamon sticks and star anise and remove the pan from the heat. Allow the spices to infuse the syrup as it cools.
- Once cool, strain the mixture into a glass jar. Store in the refrigerator. Discard the spices.
Ways to use simple syrup
The uses for simple syrup are as plentiful as the possible flavor combinations.
- Sweeten lemonade or ice tea
- Add to cocktails
- Use as sweetener for your favorite coffee drink or hot tea.
- Toss with fresh fruit
- Brush over freshly baked pound cake to infuse moisture and flavor
Basic simple syrup will last 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight glass jar. Flavored syrups will last approx. 2 weeks refrigerated.
Yes, the syrup should be refrigerated in an airtight glass jar. As discussed above, simple syrup will last from 2-4 weeks when stored properly.
Absolutely! For ease, freeze the syrup in ice cube trays. Add a single cube or two to sweeten a glass of lemonade or ice tea.
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Cinnamon-Anise Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 star anise
- Add water and sugar to a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat to dissolve sugar, stirring occasionally.
- When the syrup is hot, add the cinnamon sticks and star anise. Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely. The spices will infuse the syrup while it cools.
- Once cool, strain into a jar and store in the refrigerator. The flavored syrup will keep for 2 weeks.
- This recipe yields about 1 ½ cup of syrup.
- Unflavored simple syrup will keep for 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.
- Add syrup as a sweetener to coffee, tea, lemonade, or cocktails. Drizzle over fruit salad for added sweetness. Brush on pound cake for extra moisture and flavor.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.
This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been updated.