How to make sugar syrup

Sugar syrup is a staple ingredient in lots of our favourite cocktails. Find out how to make it at home. Spoiler: it is stupidly easy

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Sugar syrup – also known as gomme – is used in lots of our favourite cocktails. As the name suggests, it is a simple syrup (simple syrup is the other name for it by the way) made of water and sugar. A shot or two will add sweetness to your drink, without being overpowering and it is used in plenty of rum and whisky based cocktails.

So how do you make sugar syrup? It is very very easy. In short, you just need to dissolve some white sugar in water. This is done over a gentle heat until the granules dissolve. Then you can bottle your syrup and store it for a couple of weeks in the fridge. Flavours can be steeped in the mix too before bottling. Try berries, citrus peel or even tea and herbs.

Read our sugar syrup recipe, then find plenty of cocktail ideas to try it in on our cocktail recipes hub.

How to make sugar syrup


  • 200g white sugar (caster or granulated)
  • 100ml water


1. Add the sugar and water to a pan. 

2. Dissolve over a very low heat until a clear syrup is formed. No need to thicken, simply turn off the heat once the sugar has dissolved.

3. Leave to cool then bottle using a funnel.

Brown sugar syrup

For richer cocktails like espresso martini, or those with quite flavorsome spirits like whisky, try a brown sugar syrup. It tastes more like caramel than a simple syrup and will bring an extra flavour that complements bitter tastes like coffee, or peaty rye. 

Brown sugar syrup is made using the recipe above, but swap white sugar for Demerara or light brown sugar. Any brown sugar can be used, but soft brown sugar and muscovado might result in a thicker syrup so think about the cocktail you are making and whether that texture will be jarring.

Which cocktails use sugar syrup?

There are plenty of cocktail recipes that use it. Most will only use a few teaspoons, so while sugar syrup will keep in the fridge for two weeks, it is best to make it when you know you will be making plenty of drinks with it. You could of course make a smaller measure than above – just make sure to use double the weight of sugar to water.

These recipes all include sugar syrup: