Lemon Simple Syrup


Ahhh, lemon (or lime) simple syrup, so refreshing and versatile. And so easy. Let’s brainstorm some of the ways: drizzled on fruit salad, yogurt, or ice cream, glazed on your wings or seafood, in tea, added to your dressing or marinade, in your Tom Collins, Lemon Drop, Moscow Mule, and so many other cocktails.

I poured a few tablespoons into a bottle of carbonated water I made with my SodaStream, which I happened to recently receive as a Christmas gift. Besides the fantastic flavor and refreshment (with about a tenth the sugar in a Sprite, not to mention zero additives), watching the carbonation go even crazier when I added the syrup was worth the effort.

Sodastream has decent reviews but with some critics on Amazon. I personally haven’t had issues (I do need to give a couple extra squirts of CO2 than what they say but I like a really fizzy soda water) but maybe it’s harder to look a gift horse in the mouth. Links to this product provided at the bottom.

This syrup will keep for 6-9 months or longer if kept refrigerated.

You will need: small saucepan, wooden spoon, fine mesh strainer, vegetable/cheese grater (for zesting, can be skipped if unavailable); measuring cup; citrus juicer; storage bottle (one of these 8 oz glass sauce bottles are the perfect size for one batch); sauce funnel if using a small sauce bottle


  • 1 cup of lemon (or lime) juice (juice from around 6-8 lemons/limes)
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • zest of one lemon (suggested)


1.) Juice the lemons until one cup is achieved

2.) Zest one lemon (you will get around a TBSP of zest). The zest is optional but will add depth of flavor

3.) Combine the zest, juice, and sugar in saucepan and set to medium heat until sugar dissolves, stirring regularly

4.) Reduce heat to low. Due to the small quantity of liquid in a single batch, even on low heat you may notice a slow boil. This is fine. Continue stirring periodically

5.) After 10-15 minutes, the syrup is complete. Even if the mix seems a bit thin or watery, note that it will thicken as it cools

6.) Using the strainer, remove the zest (keeping it will result in bitter flavors and chunky texture). Once cooled (~20 minutes), transfer the syrup to a container or sauce bottle. Use the funnel for a sauce bottle. Refrigerate.

You’re done!

Notes: I have other syrup recipes on this site which call for longer cook times. The reason I prefer lemon syrup cooked for a shorter time is because as a drizzle it comes out of the bottle more easily. I boil ginger syrup for longer as it takes more time to extract the ginger flavor, and I happen to like its texture thicker, on pancakes and that sort of thing. It’s all really a personal preference, you can cook this syrup a bit longer if you prefer thicker.

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