Simple syrup is incredibly easy to make and great to have on hand for adding sweetness and flavor to cocktails and other drinks. This Orange Simple Syrup works well with a Blood Orange Old Fashioned, an Aperol Soda, sangria recipes, and more! This post will walk through how to make simple syrup, as well as easy variations you can make for simple syrup with different flavors.
If you're looking for other cocktail ideas, check out this Watermelon Mint Cocktail and this Strawberry Basil Vodka Cocktail. And if you'd like another option for flavored simple syrup, try this Blackberry Simple Syrup.
There are only three ingredients you'll need to make this Orange Simple Syrup.
- Granulated sugar: Granulated sugar gives simple syrup its sweetness. You can also make simple syrup with different types of sugar for a different flavor.
- Water: This is the base of the simple syrup.
- Oranges: You will use one orange thinly sliced for this recipe. You can use any type or orange, but smaller oranges tend to be sweeter and they don't have seeds (not a big issue, but easier overall). You can also make this recipe with blood oranges to make Blood Orange Simple Syrup.
See full recipe below for detailed directions.
Orange Simple Syrup comes together easily and is a great ingredient to have on hand or to give as a nice foodie gift!
Wash and slice your oranges, leaving the peel on. You don't need to remove the pitch or seeds, if there are any.
Combine water and sugar in a small pot or skillet and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Add orange slices and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After the mixture has simmered, set aside to cool for at least 20 minutes. Strain the mixture to remove the orange slices from the liquid (squeezing the orange slices helps to ensure you have all the liquid). Discard the orange slices and pour the liquid into a jar or airtight container. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator.
Hint: Ideally you'll want to refrigerate this simple syrup before using it to ensure that it is fully cooled before adding to a cocktail.
The base recipe for simple syrup remains the same, and you can make a huge variety of different flavor options. Below are a few that I recommend:
- Blood Orange Simple Syrup: Follow this same recipe using blood oranges to make Blood Orange Simple Syrup.
- Blackberry Simple Syrup: Add 1 cup fresh blackberries instead of the orange slices. You'll want to make sure to crush the berries while you're stirring to really capture the juices and flavor.
- Lemon Simple Syrup: Instead of the orange slices, add lemon slices and follow the recipe as written.
Of course, the base recipe is plain simple syrup, and that's great to use as well! Omit the fruit and let the sugar and water mixture boil for 2 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to a jar or airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
How to use Orange Simple Syrup
Orange Simple Syrup has a variety of uses, including:
- For cocktails and mocktails: Simple syrup adds sweetness and flavor to cocktails like this Aperol Soda and this Blood Orange Old Fashioned. It's also a great way to add flavor to mocktails!
- For baking: Cake and loaf recipes often use simple syrup to add flavor, sweetness and moisture to a recipe.
- For coffee and tea: Simple syrup adds flavor and sweetness to coffees and teas instead of using sugar or honey.
2:1 Simple Syrup
This recipe makes a 1:1 simple syrup (1 part sugar, 1 part water). You can modify the recipe slightly to make a 2:1 simple syrup (2 parts sugar, 1 part water). This makes a rich simple syrup that is sweeter and thicker (and also lasts longer when stored).
Store Orange Simple Syrup in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks. To note: this simple syrup has not gone through the canning process, so it is not shelf-stable.
Once it's stored, if you notice any floaters or cloudiness in the syrup, then it's time to throw it out and start with a fresh batch.
This is a very adaptable recipe and works well with all types of oranges as well as other citrus and fruits!
You can use any type of orange, but smaller oranges like Cara Cara Oranges and Tangelos work well. Smaller oranges tend to be sweeter and have fewer seeds (you'll strain the liquid, but it's easier overall if there are fewer seeds. You can also make this recipe with Blood Oranges to make Blood Orange Simple Syrup.
Yes! Simple syrup is very adaptable and you can easily switch out the oranges for another type of fruit.
This Orange Simple Syrup should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Yes. Since this Orange Simple Syrup has not gone through the canning process, it is not shelf-stable and needs to be stored in the refrigerator.
You can store Orange Simple Syrup in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks. If you notice any floaters or cloudiness in the simple syrup, it's time to discard it and start with a fresh batch.
Regular simple syrup (without any fruit) can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Orange Simple Syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 orange washed and thinly sliced
- Combine water and sugar in a small pot or skillet over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add orange slices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 20 minutes.
- Strain the mixture into a bowl to remove the liquid from the orange slices (and any pulp). Discard the orange slices and transfer the simple syrup into a jar or airtight container. Store in the refrigerator.