Homemade Brown Sugar Spiced Simple Syrup

Homemade Brown Sugar Spiced Simple Syrup

The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Steep : 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 20 servings
Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
37 Calories
0g Fat
9g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 37
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 17mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Many cocktails can benefit from the dark sweetness of brown sugar and it is easy to make your own simple syrup at home. This recipe uses brown sugar for the base and adds traditional holiday spices to give it a warm, rich twist that is perfect for winter cocktails.

Be sure to use whole spices to make straining easier. The only exception is with the nutmeg, which will have to be grated. You can also place all of the smaller spices into a tea bag or ball and place that into the syrup. This may eliminate using a strainer completely because you can simply fish out the cinnamon and orange with a large spoon.

The vanilla bean is optional because it is one of the most expensive spices on the market. If you can, I do recommend adding it because it really is sort of a finishing touch to the spice blend. In its absence, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract can be used.

"The recipe was very easy, and the syrup tasted great. The spice mixture gave the syrup a wonderful aroma. I let it steep overnight, and it was excellent in tea." —Diana Rattray

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Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Homemade Brown Sugar Spiced Simple Syrup ingredients

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  2. In a small saucepan, add the water, cinnamon, orange zest, and spices. Bring to a boil.

    water, cinnamon, orange zest, and spices in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  3. Add sugar and stir constantly until the sugar is fully dissolved.

    sugar added to the mixture in the saucepan

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  4. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow to cool completely. The cooling time allows the spices to infuse the syrup. Leave them for at least 3 hours and taste it periodically until it reaches your desired flavor.

    syrup mixture in the saucepan

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  5. Strain the spices from the syrup using a fine mesh strainer.

    Strain the spices from the syrup using a fine mesh strainer

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  6. Bottle and store in the refrigerator.

    Homemade Brown Sugar Spiced Simple Syrup in a jar

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram


  • This syrup will stay fresh for about 2 to 3 weeks in a well-sealed bottle. Refrigeration is recommended. The proportions above make about 1 cup of syrup and it is easy to make more if you like. Simply increase the water and sugar, keeping the two measurements equal.
  • If possible, sterilize the jar or bottle or run it through the dishwasher. If using a plastic container, make sure it is clean and odor-free.

Recipe Variation

Can you freeze simple syrup?

Even though simple syrup might not freeze solid because of its sugar content, you can extend its life for up to 1 year by freezing it. Make sure it is stored in a clean, well-sealed freezer-safe jar or container. A wide-mouth mason jar is ideal, but leave at least 1 inch of headspace to allow for expansion.

Cocktails for Brown Sugar Spiced Syrup

Not all of these cocktails actually use brown sugar syrup, but that doesn't mean that they cannot be enhanced with it. In fact, the majority of these are better with the syrup and they are the perfect excuse to make up another batch.

  • Autumn Chai Swizzle - An easy Irish cream recipe, use the syrup instead of raw brown sugar but do keep the cinnamon stick.

  • Ginger Julep '68 Fastback - The spices of the syrup work wonders with ginger and bourbon and the muddle is easier with syrup.

  • Hot Buttered Rum - Add your spices via the syrup and skip the brown sugar. This holiday favorite just got easier!

  • Peach Cobbler - If you don't have a hazelnut liqueur in stock, the brown syrup is a great substitute in this creamy cocktail.

  • Peartini - The recipe calls for 'spiced simple syrup' and brown sugar is a natural fit.

  • Almost Any Warm Drink - Even use it as a sweetener in your morning coffee or afternoon tea.

  • Many Holiday Cocktails - Particularly those that already use the spices, simply skip those and use the syrup instead.