Take your favorite beverages, desserts, and breakfast treats to the next level with this easy strawberry simple syrup recipe.
With just a handful of basic ingredients and a few simple steps, this homemade strawberry simple syrup recipe is a great way to enjoy the taste of sun-kissed strawberries all year long!
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What is Strawberry Simple Syrup?
Strawberry simple syrup is a sweet and flavorful liquid sweetener made by dissolving sugar in equal parts water and infusing it with fresh strawberries. This easy strawberry syrup is used in a wide range of culinary applications, particularly in drinks and sweet treats.
When it comes to beverages, strawberry simple syrup adds a burst of flavor and a hint of sweetness to lemonades, teas, Italian sodas, and other non-alcoholic drinks or mocktails. It is also a great addition to many cocktail recipes, providing a fruity element to tipples like Strawberry Margaritas, Mojitos, and Spritzers.
In the realm of desserts and breakfast treats, this easy strawberry syrup can be used in a number of ways. From using it as a strawberry sauce topping on ice cream and cheesecake to soaking cake layers with it to drizzling it over cookies, pancakes, french toast, or waffles, the possibilities are endless. It's also the star of the show spooned over Southern Strawberry Shortcake, one of my favorite summer treats!
Strawberry Simple Syrup Ingredients
If you're looking for an easy way to add the taste of real strawberries to your culinary creations, then this fresh strawberry syrup makes a perfect addition to your repertoire. Let's take a closer look at the essential yet simple ingredients that come together to create this sweet syrup:
- FRESH STRAWBERRIES: At the heart of every strawberry simple syrup is, of course, the star ingredient – fresh strawberries! Opt for ripe, juicy, fresh berries to achieve the best flavor and vibrant color. The sweetness of the fresh fruit will infuse the syrup, creating that irresistible fruity taste.
- GRANULATED WHITE SUGAR: Granulated sugar acts as the sweetening agent in this syrup as its fine texture ensures easy dissolving in water. You can also use brown sugar if you prefer, which will give your syrup a richer flavor.
- LEMON JUICE: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice is the best way to really bring out the sweet strawberry flavor in this syrup. I incorporate lemon into most of my berry syrups not to add flavor, but simply to add brightness!
- WATER: You can't make fruit syrup without water! Water creates the base for dissolving the sugar and infusing the strawberries.
With these four readily available ingredients, you can easily whip up a batch of your very own strawberry syrup. So whether you're looking to add a burst of flavor to your beverages, create impressive cocktails, or sweeten your desserts, this homemade strawberry syrup recipe has got you covered.
How to Make Strawberry Simple Syrup
Making this fresh strawberry syrup is incredibly straightforward. With just a few simple steps, you'll have a versatile sweetener that can effortlessly elevate your beverages, desserts, and more.
Prepare the Strawberries
Start by washing the strawberries thoroughly under cold running water. (You can use a bit of vinegar or baking soda if you prefer as well.) Use a strawberry huller to remove the green stems (hulls) and then slice the strawberries to enhance their infusion into the syrup.
Macerate the Strawberries
Before creating the simple syrup base, combine the fresh strawberries and granulated sugar in a small saucepan or mixing bowl. Gently toss the strawberries with the sugar until they are evenly coated. Let the mixture sit for about 15 to 20 minutes, allowing the sugar to draw out the natural juices from the strawberries. This process intensifies the strawberry flavor and creates a slightly syrupy consistency, setting the stage for an even more luscious strawberry simple syrup.
However, if you're short on time you can skip this step! While I like the extra bit of fresh strawberry flavor you get from maceration, your syrup will still taste delicious if time doesn't allow for this process..
Create the Syrup Base
In a medium saucepan, combine the macerated strawberries with a cup of water. (If not macerating your berries first, add the sugar, sliced berries, and water to a saucepan.) Place the pan over medium to medium-high heat and stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
Infuse the Syrup
Reduce the heat to medium-low and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Allow the strawberries to steep in the syrup for about 10 to 15 minutes or until they turn a bit translucent. Stir the strawberry syrup occasionally to help release the berry flavor into the liquid. (You can also use a potato masher to mash them a little bit if you wish. However, doing so makes the straining process a touch more difficult.)
Strain through a Fine Mesh Sieve and Store
After the steeping process, remove the saucepan from the heat and let the syrup cool slightly. Then stir in the lemon juice. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer to separate the liquid from the strawberry solids and create a smooth syrup. Avoid pressing down on the berries as you do so because it could cause your syrup to become cloudy.
PRO TIP: Don't throw the strawberry solids away! The fruit pulp of these sweetened leftover strawberries tastes delicious on top of ice cream, mixed with cottage cheese or vanilla yogurt, on top of buttermilk biscuits, or spooned over a bagel with cream cheese.
Strawberry Simple Syrup Uses
Once you've whipped up a batch of this easy strawberry simple syrup, the possibilities for incorporating it into your culinary adventures are endless. Some creative and mouthwatering ways to use strawberry simple syrup include:
- Stirred into your favorite drinks to make strawberry lemonade, strawberry iced tea, strawberry club soda, or even a strawberry latte!
- Combined into vinaigrettes to balance the acidity of the vinegar
- Added to desserts such as cakes, ice cream sundaes, and cheesecake
- Used in place of maple syrup on breakfast treats like pancakes, french toast, and waffles
- Mixed into cocktails such as a Strawberry Basil Margarita, Strawberry Old Fashioned, or Strawberry Mojito
- Used as a glaze for grilled meats like chicken or pork
- Incorporated into any number of strawberry recipes where you want an extra boost of flavor and sweetness!
From tantalizing beverages to savory mains to delectable desserts, the possibilities for what to do with strawberry simple syrup are numerous. So get creative and have fun coming up with your own delicious recipes!
Strawberry Pancake Syrup Recipe
Making strawberry pancake syrup could not be easier! To turn this simple strawberry syrup recipe into a strawberry pancake syrup recipe, all you have to do is double the sugar. Rather than using a 1:1 sugar-to-water ratio, use a 2:1 sugar-to-water ratio.
This will increase its viscosity to make it a thicker syrup and give it the texture you want in a strawberry simple syrup for waffles, pancakes, french toast, and more!
How do you increase the shelf life of homemade syrups?
One common concern with making this homemade strawberry syrup recipe is its relatively shorter shelf life compared to commercial alternatives. While certainly an extra tasty way to add flavor to drinks, desserts, and other dishes, it can spoil quickly if not stored properly. Here are some practical tips on how to increase the shelf life of your homemade strawberry syrup:
- INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF SUGAR: The more sugar in the syrup, the less excess water is available for bacteria to grow. A 1:2 ratio of water to sugar will last for up to about 6 months in the refrigerator, while a 1:1 ratio of water to sugar will only last for about a month.
- PASTEURIZE THE SYRUP: Pasteurization is a process that kills bacteria and yeast, which can extend the shelf life of syrups. To pasteurize your strawberry syrup, boil it for a few minutes before bottling. Properly pasteurized syrups can last significantly longer than untreated ones.
- STORE IT IN AN AIRTIGHT CONTAINER: Make sure to transfer the strawberry simple syrup to a clean and airtight container before refrigerating it. Opt for glass bottles or food-grade plastic containers with airtight lids. Such containers prevent air and contaminants from getting into your syrup and also slow down the oxidation process.
- KEEP IT REFRIGERATED: Refrigeration is a tried-and-true method to keep homemade syrups fresh for an extended period. Once your syrup has cooled to room temperature, promptly transfer it to the refrigerator. The cold temperature slows down the growth of bacteria and molds, preventing spoilage.
- ADD NATURAL PRESERVATIVES: Certain natural ingredients possess preservative properties, which can help prolong the shelf life of your homemade syrups. Consider incorporating a substance like citric acid, which can inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria and maintain its fruity flavor.
- ADD ALCOHOL: Alcohol is a natural preservative, so adding a small amount of a neutral spirit such as Vodka to your syrup can help extend its shelf life. A spirit with an alcohol content of at least 15% will keep the syrup good for up to 1 year.
With a little care and attention to detail, you can significantly increase the shelf life of your homemade strawberry simple syrup. From proper sterilization and pasteurization to incorporating natural preservatives and adjusting sugar content, these steps can help preserve the sweet taste of strawberries for longer periods.
Can you freeze Strawberry Simple Syrup?
Absolutely! Freezing is one of the easiest ways to preserve your strawberry simple syrup for a more extended period of time. To freeze it:
- WAIT FOR THE SYRUP TO COOL: Allow the strawberry simple syrup to cool to room temperature after preparing it. This prevents condensation from forming inside the container, which could potentially lead to freezer burn.
- USE A FREEZER-SAFE CONTAINER: Transfer the cooled strawberry simple syrup to freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays. Glass or BPA-free plastic containers with airtight lids work well for this purpose. Just remember to leave some headspace in your container of choice to allow for expansion as the syrup freezes.
- LABEL AND DATE: To keep track of its freshness, always label your containers with the date you prepared the syrup. This way, you'll know when to use it before its quality starts to degrade.
- FREEZE PROMPTLY: Place your container in the freezer as soon as possible after preparing the syrup and allowing it to cool. The quicker you freeze it, the better it will preserve its taste and texture.
- THAWING AND USING THE SYRUP: When ready to use your frozen strawberry simple syrup, transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw gradually. This slow thawing process helps maintain the syrup's quality. You can also thaw the syrup at room temperature if you're in a hurry. Just avoid using the microwave for thawing as it may cause uneven heating and potentially spoil the syrup.
Frozen strawberry simple syrup can last for around three to four months, making it a convenient option for enjoying the taste of fresh strawberries even when the peak of strawberry season has passed.
Strawberry Simple Syrup Recipe: Frequently Asked Questions
From the shelf life of strawberry simple syrup to how to store it, here are some answers to commonly asked questions about this simple strawberry syrup recipe.
How long does Strawberry Simple Syrup last?
The shelf life of strawberry simple syrup can vary depending on how it is stored and the specific ingredients used in the syrup. Generally, homemade fruit syrups can last for about 2 to 4 weeks when stored properly in the refrigerator.
Can you make strawberry simple syrup with frozen strawberries?
Of course! Using frozen strawberries gives you the ability to enjoy this simple recipe any time of year. To make strawberry simple syrup with frozen strawberries, simply substitute frozen strawberries for fresh ones and follow this same easy recipe and instructions.
Just make sure the first thing you do is allow your berries to thaw completely before using them to prevent the syrup from getting cloudy. I also recommend using frozen strawberries with no sugar added in order to better control the sweetness level.
Why use simple syrup instead of sugar?
There are a few reasons why you might want to use simple syrup instead of sugar:
- EASE OF USE: When you add sugar to a cold drink, it can take a while for the sugar to dissolve completely. This can be frustrating, and it can also make the drink taste grainy. Simple syrup, on the other hand, is a great alternative because it's already dissolved so it mixes quickly and evenly into the drink without the need for vigorous stirring!
- CONSISTENCY: When you add sugar to a drink or recipe, the amount of sweetness can vary depending on how much sugar actually dissolves. This can be a problem if you want a consistently sweet taste. Simple syrup, however, is always the same sweetness and provides the perfect way to ensure that your drink or recipe will taste the same every time.
- VERSATILITY: Simple syrup can be effortlessly infused with fruits, fresh herbs, spices, or extracts to more easily create different flavors compared to plain granulated sugar. Plus, it's super easy to use in a host of different ways, from adding flavor to drinks to sweetening desserts and breakfast items to enhancing salad dressings and meat glazes.
While simple syrup certainly makes a great sugar substitute in some situations, granulated sugar is still a fundamental sweetener in many recipes and culinary applications. As such, the choice between the two depends on the specific needs of the dish or beverage you're preparing.
Can you make simple syrup with other fruits?
Absolutely! You can make simple syrup using just about any fruit you want.
Does strawberry syrup need to be refrigerated?
Yes, strawberry syrup needs to be refrigerated because it is a perishable product that can spoil quickly if it is not stored correctly. Refrigeration helps inhibit the growth of bacteria and molds, preserving the quality and taste of the syrup for an extended period.
How long does simple syrup last not refrigerated?
Typically, standard simple syrup that is made with equal parts sugar and water can last for about one to two weeks unrefrigerated. However, its shelf life may be shorter if the surrounding temperature is particularly warm or humid.
Strawberry Simple Syrup: The Wrap-Up
From its vibrant color to its tantalizing flavor, this easy strawberry simple syrup recipe is sure to add a burst of summery goodness to your culinary creations all year long. However you plan to use it, this versatile syrup will never disappoint, even long after fresh strawberry season has passed!
If you have any questions or want to share your own favorite way of using strawberry simple syrup, please feel free to leave a comment below. And if you make this strawberry simple syrup recipe, be sure to share a photo on social media and tag me at @parchedaroundtheworld. I'd love to see your creations!
A writer and photographer, Allie Albanese is the founder and curator of Parched Around the World. Here she seeks to tell stories about the intersection of food, drinks, cultures, and traditions in places near and far.
As the Beverage Director and Head Bartender of a high-volume cocktail bar, Allie spent years honing her mixology skills and learning about the fascinating world of drinks. In the time since, she's worked as a wine and cocktail consultant for both private and corporate clients, as well as a freelance journalist writing about cocktails, wine, food, and travel for various publications across the United States and abroad.
When mixing a drink for herself, you’ll likely find Allie with a fresh Gin Gimlet or a spicy Old Fashioned in hand!