Mint Simple Syrup

Wicker basket of fresh peppermint
Westend61 / Getty Images
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Yield: 1 cup

Mint syrup sounds fancy but it's beyond easy to make. Basically, it's a simple syrup (i.e., sugar melted in a bit of water) that's been infused with fresh mint leaves. It adds a minty flavor to anything you then choose to add it to.

Mint syrup keeps forever in the fridge (it's mainly sugar, and sugar is a preservative), so there's no pressure to make use of it right away. Of course, it's so tasty and has so many uses, you might not find that you have a lot of leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water and sugar just to a boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Add the mint leaves.

  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, without stirring, until the syrup is slightly reduced and syrupy, about 10 minutes.

  4. Transfer the syrup to a small metal bowl and let stand to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Discard the mint leaves. You can use the syrup immediately, or let it cool to room temperature. Store in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator for up to six months.

How to Use Mint Simple Syrup

  • A major reason to whip up a batch of mint syrup is to add it to mint julep cocktails. The syrup adds an extra layer of mint flavor while sweetening this famously boozy concoction. This removes the need for plain sugar, ensuring that all of the sweetness doesn't settle to the bottom of the glass, requiring lots of stirring.
  • Mint syrup is also handy for making mocktails or "kids' cocktails" for festive occasions and parties—simply add some to taste to sparkling water and garnish with a mint leaf.
  • Mint syrup is also useful for sweetening and adding flavor to beverages of all sorts. It will doll up humble lemonade, perk up herbal tea, and add zing to fruit punches.
  • Beyond drinks, drizzle mint syrup over grilled fruit to transform it into more of a dessert. Mint syrup is also tasty over ice cream or frozen yogurt, as well as on a simple piece of not-too-sweet cake.

Beyond Mint Simple Syrup

As you might imagine, mint isn't the only thing you can use to flavor a simple sugar syrup.

  • Who would ever regret keeping ginger syrup in the fridge, ready to be stirred into tea? Make it the same way as the mint syrup above, but with 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger in place of the fresh mint leaves.
  • Ditto to keeping lemon syrup, the secret ingredient in amazing lemonade, around the house. As luck would have it, the same method of using some juice and lots of zest for lemon syrup works for making orange, lime, or grapefruit syrup, too.
  • And then there's this cranberry syrup, which is lovely to have on hand around the holidays for making cocktails, spritzers, or drizzling on desserts of all sorts.