Herbal simple syrups or sugar syrups are easy to make and a fun way to preserve herbs from the herb garden to use all year long. Learn how to make mint, basil, lavender and other herbal syrups in this guide.
Herbal infusions can be anything from a simple tea to a medicinal tincture. Basically an herbal infusion is any liquid that been infused with herbs. The infusion can be quick, like pouring hot water over herbs to make tea. Or slow, like when you pour alcohol over herbs and let them sit for 6 weeks to make a tincture or herbal cordial.
Supplies for Herbal Syrups
To make herbal syrups you just need water, sugar, and herbs. Just like when you make plain simple syrup, you can use white sugar, raw sugar, brown sugar, maple sugar or syrup, or even honey to make herbal syrups.
A good ratio of water to sugar is 1 cup water to 1 cup sugar for herbal syrups. You can use less sugar or more sugar depending on how sweet and thick you want the syrup.
Depending on how strong the herb is, you’ll want to use anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1 cup herbs. You can use fresh or dried herbs for this herbal infusion since it will be stored in the refrigerator. For strong herbs, such as rosemary, you’ll use less herbs then you would for delicate herbs, such as chamomile.
You’ll also need a pot for simmering and bottles or jars for storing the syrups in. Mason jars work well for this. You can also reuse glass bottles from sodas or other purchased drinks.
Favorite Herbs for Syrups
For medicinal syrups try herbs such as elderflower, elderberry, sage, and ginger.
For cooking syrups try lavender, mint, thyme, and rosemary.
For syrups for drinks try lavender, mint, and hibiscus.
Any of these herbal syrups can be added to drinks. They are especially good in sparkling water and lemonade. They can also be used to make an after dinner cordial, mint or ginger would be good to help digestion.
You can use mint simple syrup to drizzle over ice cream; lavender syrup would also be good on ice cream.
The possibilities are endless!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- herbs of your choice (see recommended amounts in notes)
- Wash fresh herbs to remove any dirt from them. If your doing multiple herbs, do them in separate batches.
- In a medium sauce pan, bring water to a simmer.
- Add clean herbs and sugar.
- Bring to a boil.
- Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Strain the herbs from the syrup and pour the syrup into a clean jar.
- Label the jar and put the lid on.
- Store the herbal simple syrup in the refrigerator. Use within a month.
Basil Syrup - 6 three inch springs
Rosemary Syrup - 4 three inch springs
Thyme Syrup - 6 three inch sprigs
Sage Syrup - 5-6 leaves
Lavender Syrup - 1 Tablespoon fresh lavender buds
Mint Syrup - 4 three inch sprigs
Elderflower Syrup - 3/4 cup flowers
Growing Herbs for Simple Syrups
While simple syrups are easy to make, they can get pricey if you have to buy the herbs. Fortunately, herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow. Many herbs can be grown in containers and even indoors. If you need suggestions on how to start a useful herb garden, we have you covered.