Basic Simple Syrup Recipe

This basic simple syrup recipe makes the ingredient used by old time soda fountain operators for sweetening iced teas, lemonades, punches, and fruit drinks.

Simple syrup is significantly sweeter than regular sugar, so it's perfect for use in flavored soda syrup recipes and for sweetening beverages and certain baked goods, as it dissolves so easily.

Basic Simple Syrup Recipe

Lee's Priceless Recipes (1895)

Simple SyrupHomemade Simple Syrup for Sweetening Beverages
(Source: ©magone/

Simple Syrup

Dram Measure

One dram measure equals 3/4 teaspoon.

Use granulated sugar and water in proportions of 1 pound of white sugar to 1 pint of water. Stir while bringing water and sugar to a boil until all sugar crystals are dissolved, then permit to cool.

The candying or crystallization of syrup, unless it is over-saturated with sugar, may be prevented by the addition of a little citric acid, 2 or 3 drams (1-1/2 or 2-1/4 teaspoons) per gallon of simple syrup.

Alternatively, some confectioners add a very little cream of tartar to the sugar to prevent crystallization.

Another Method

Old Time Soda Jerk Dispensing SodasFountain Operator Dispensing Sodas to Customers
(Source: Library of Congress Repro. No. LC-USZ62-129884))

Grandma's Tip

Simple Syrup is useful for sweetening purposes when home baking too.

Another method for making simple syrup is to use 2 parts granulated sugar to 1 part water.

Bring water to a boil, add sugar and stir so that the sugar is completely dissolved with no sugar crystals visible, then remove from heat and let cool.

Some old time pharmacists recommended adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of corn syrup to help keep the consistency of the simple syrup smooth for storage.

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