Orange Simple Syrup

Orange Simple Syrup recipe

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Prep: 0 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 18 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
63 Calories
0g Fat
16g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 0g
Calcium 14mg 1%
*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.)

Simple syrup is a solution of equal parts (by weight) sugar and water. It can be used to sweeten and add moisture to cakes and other desserts. It's also handy for sweetening cold drinks such as iced coffee and iced tea since granulated sugar doesn't dissolve as well in cold drinks as it does in hot ones. There is also a slew of cocktails that use simple syrup, like the old-fashioned and the mojito.

Simple syrup is traditionally made by boiling the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. The resulting syrup is then cooled and stored in a bottle or jar. You can infuse it with orange flavor by simmering orange peel in the syrup. It's nice when brushed onto the layers of a classic genoise cake, though there are many other uses for orange simple syrup as well.


  • 1 quart water (filtered or distilled)
  • 1/2 pound white sugar (granulated)
  • 3 oranges (peel only; sliced)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Orange Simple Syrup ingredients

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and orange peels. Stir to combine.

    water, sugar and orange peels in a pan

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  3. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.

    orange simple syrup ingredients in a pot

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  4. Remove from heat, strain out the peels, and let the syrup cool.

    strain out the orange peel

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  5. Transfer to a bottle or jar. Store in the fridge for up to three months.

    Orange Simple Syrup in a glass bottle

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

No-Boil Simple Sugar

There are a couple of problems with boiled simple sugar, however. One is that if you should accidentally splatter a drop of boiling-hot simple syrup on yourself, you're going to be in a lot of pain. And two—the pot you used to simmer the syrup is going to be a pain to clean, so much so that you might prefer the pain of being burned by the stuff. There's also the inconvenience of having to wait for it to cool, of course.

Fortunately, you can make simple syrup without boiling. Just combine the sugar and water in a jar or bottle and let it sit for about 20 minutes, giving it a shake or stir every five minutes or so. This allows for zero cleanups, zero waiting for it to cool, and zero chance of sustaining second-degree burns.

Still, the boiled simple syrup will keep a lot longer because boiling gets rid of any bacteria that might cause it to go bad. But we're talking the difference between keeping for three months with the stirred syrup versus more or less indefinitely with the boiled kind. So if you're planning to use it up quickly, the shaken version will work just fine.

Of course, if you're not cooking the syrup, you can't flavor it by simmering orange peels in it. You can just stir in half a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice (per liter of syrup), though, or 1/4 lemon juice and 1/4 cup orange juice. If you're just using your simple syrup to sweeten drinks, feel free to leave out the citrus juice altogether.

You can also buy a simple syrup kit, which is basically just a bottle with markings on it to indicate how much sugar and water to add. You cork it and shake—totally unnecessary, but still kind of cool and something that might make a nice gift.