I was really getting into mixology this fall, and while my alcohol cupboard might need refreshing, I still have have plenty of simple syrup left. If you're not familiar with this cocktail ingredient, simple syrup is the syrupy liquid that makes things like these apple cocktails so sweet. It's made by combining equal parts of white sugar and water in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Pretty simple, right?

But I have A TON of this stuff! To make sure it doesn't go to waste, I set out to find alternative uses and recipes for this nifty liquid. Even if you're not a cocktail fanatic, simple syrup is essential to any dorm room or kitchen. Check out a few other methods to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Coffee and Tea

Shun Matsuhashi

By adding simple syrup to your morning coffee or tea, you can cut down on the kitchen mess (no more cleaning up those pesky grains of sugar on “class started 20 minutes ago” mornings). Another bonus? Because it’s already in liquid form, the simple syrup blends in better with your beverage. This helps avoid the dreaded bottom of the cup sugar swamp where your coffee isn’t sweet enough for most of the cup so you end up with all of the sugar that you missed at the start of your beverage.

Being easy to blend also makes simple syrup the best ingredient for those who are playing around with at-home latte recipes but want to make it easier by swapping in a less messy mint syrup. And if you’re not a coffee chemist or level 100 barista, recipes like this cinnamon simple syrup can help you up your coffee game with minimal effort and no fancy equipment. 


cream, cake, chocolate, buttercream, cupcake
Jocelyn Hsu

Maybe you prefer sugar alternatives for your everyday use, but white sugar can still be a fantastic ingredient in your baking. Turns out, you can also use it to coat your fantastic creations. The very ingredient that makes baked goods so delectable is also an ingenious way to keep them fresh and spongy while you wait for all of your friends to finish their midterms and join you for the cupcakes. You know, the ones you made instead of studying for said midterm.

Procrastination aside, using simple syrup for your baking is actually a fantastic idea. By dipping your cakes in simple syrup before icing them, you will extend the life of your cake and keep it moist while you struggle through all of that fancy fondant work. Alternatively, you can opt for the less sweet (and more controlled) version of this by using a brush to apply the simple syrup instead. 

Here are a few tips from a pro on how you can preserve those baked goods until you’ve finished your exams/undergrad/student loan payments. 

 As Syrup

bread, pancake, butter, jam, dairy product, chocolate, pastry, cream, cake, sweet
Alexander Furuya

Okay, okay, I get that this one doesn’t fit the title of “unconventional” but hear me out. There are quite a few recipes floating around for making your own maple syrup (the sugar-based version, not the tree tapping kind), but if you’re not a maple fan, there’s no reason to settle for plain pancakes.

You can use plain old simple syrup to top your breakfast, or even experiment with odd alternatives like this lime flavour. Speaking of breakfast, can we talk about simple syrup as an addition to your oatmeal?

If you're looking for more of a dessert vibe, simple syrup is also a great way to sweeten up your fruit salad (and keep the fruit from going brown). What could be a more simple and dazzling dessert than slicing up whatever is in your fridge and pouring sugary sweetness all over it?

If you don’t use up your simple syrup up with all of these ideas, then I guess you can always revert to plan A and use it for cocktails. That is, until you completely run out of booze and fruit, and all you have left is a giant bottle of liquid sugar sitting on your counter top. Then I guess you could always come back and re-read this article.