July 20, 2016

Coffee Cocktails: How to Make Your Own Simple Syrups


When specialty coffee first came into its own, it suddenly became cool to be a purist. No cream or sugar. No blended drinks. And no syrups. Absolutely no syrups. Definitely not.

Thankfully, that time has passed. Not only will you see them in coffee shops, but they’re also used extensively in the World Barista Championship. And for good reason – they’re a great way to make awesome specialty cocktails. Pick unique flavors that complement your coffee and you’ll be well on your way to a delicious menu.

And, of course, the best syrups are house-made. So if you want to step up your specialty drink game, read on for our instructions on how to make simple syrup. We’ve even thrown in a recipe for one stunning coffee cocktail to use it with.

Spanish Version: Cócteles de Café: Cómo Hacer Tus Propios Siropes

A Simple Syrup Recipe

In order to make incredible simple syrups, it’s important to apply the same precision that you would to preparing coffee for a customer. But don’t worry, because it’s not hard. Follow these seven steps and you’ll be crafting unique, tasty syrups in no time.


  • 8 ounces/225 g sugar by weight
  • 8 ounces/225 g hot filtered water by weight (note: this refers to ounces, not fluid ounces)
  • Flavoring agent – in this example, we’ll be using 2 teaspoons of lavender, but you can use any flavor you want


  • A food processor
  • A set of scales
  • A fine mesh sieve/chinois
  1. Start by weighing out your sugar and putting it in the food processor.


2. Add your flavoring agent (2 teaspoons of lavender) to the food processor.

sugar and lavender

  1. Blend until only tiny bits of the flavoring agent are left.

sugar blended

4. Let the mixture sit for at least 20 minutes. The longer it sits, the more powerful the flavor will be.


  1. After the 20 minutes are up, add near boiling water. You want to maintain an equal ratio of water to sugar, so it’s best to use a set of scales for this.

water poured

      6. Stir until all the sugar has been dissolved.


  1. Filter the syrup through a fine mesh sieve or chinois. Some small particles may remain, but you can consider these negligible.


And voilà, you’ve made your own simple syrup! But what can you do with it?

Well, take a look at this classy coffee cocktail recipe that’s perfect for the lavender syrup.

SEE ALSO: 4 Cold Brew Cocktails Perfect for Summer

The Lavender Flip: A Coffee Cocktail Recipe

This drink is delicious, stylish, and surprising easy to make.


  • Double Espresso
  • 1 oz/30 g lavender simple syrup
  • ½ oz/15 g half-and-half (that’s half cream for the Brits/Aussies, but you can also substitute it with a 2:1 ratio of single cream and whole milk)
  • 1 whole egg

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Then fine strain into a coupe glass and, if you wish, add some lavender as a garnish.

A lavender-syrup based coffee cocktail

Simple syrups are a creative barista’s best friend. They’re quick and easy to make, but open up a whole new world of flavors that can complement your coffee’s profile. Have fun and get experimenting!

Feature photo credit: N. Robinson. All other photo credit: E. Squires.

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