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Lemon Simple Syrup Recipe

Lemon Simple Syrup Recipe

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1 rating

March 6, 2014


Jess Novak

A sweet-and-sour component of our Savannah Smiletini recipe, this lemon simple syrup would be wonderful in a peach iced tea or lemon drop cocktail.

Read more about Drinks That Taste Just Like Girl Scout Cookies.




Calories Per Serving

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  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup water
  • Juice and zest from one lemon


Heat all ingredients in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium to medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Allow to simmer. Filter out the lemon pulp and zest through a very fine sieve, then cool and star in a glass mason jar in the fridge. This should last for up to a month.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving32



Vitamin C1mg2%


Folate (food)0.3µgN/A

Folate equivalent (total)0.3µg0.1%





Sugars, added8gN/A

Have a question about the nutrition data? Let us know.


Fresh Lemon Syrup Recipe

Whether you're juicing standard supermarket lemons or their seasonal Meyer cousins, save the rinds for this vibrant yellow syrup. It's pure sunshine in a bottle, made from nothing but sugar dissolved by the acidic pulp—no cooking required! Since there's no added juice, it tastes more sweet than sour, but is balanced by the subtle bitterness of lemon oil. Use it to make Crispy Candied Pistachios and Lemon Chantilly, or try it as a mixer in your favorite cocktails.


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Simple Syrup Recipe Variations

Basic simple syrup is really versatile, and you can use it in almost any drink. Keep it on hand to add to classic margaritas, palomas, iced tea, iced coffee, and more! You can also use ingredients like herbs and spices to add flavor to simple syrup. Here are a few of my favorite additions:

  • A handful of fresh mint or basil – See my mint julep or pomegranate spritzer recipe!
  • Jalapeño slices – Use it to spice up a jalapeño margarita!
  • Fresh lavender flowers – Try this variation in my lavender French 75!
  • 2-4 bags of your favorite herbal tea – See an example in my Apple Zinger Tea Tail recipe!
  • A few sprigs of lemon thyme
  • Thinly sliced fresh ginger
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • A sprig of rosemary
  • Strips of lemon or orange peel

To make a flavored simple syrup, add the sugar and water to a saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add your desired seasonings to the syrup, remove from the heat, and let it steep for 15 minutes. Then, strain it, discard any add-ins, and chill the syrup until you’re ready to use it.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 lemon's peel, finely diced
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup carbonated mineral water
  • 6 strips of lemon zest, for garnish

In a saucepan, stir together the diced lemon peel, 1 cup of water and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool.

In a pitcher or bowl, stir together the lemon syrup with peel, lemon juice and mineral water. Pour into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Garnish each serving with a twist of lemon peel.

If you do not have an ice cream maker, you may freeze it in a tall canister. Freeze for 1 1/2 hours. Remove and stir with a whisk. Return to the freezer and stir about once every hour for about 4 hours. The more times you stir, the more air will be incorporated, resulting in a lighter finished product.

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As other users have noted here, this recipe makes a lot of syrup so I halved it, just fine. I reduced it by half and used it to replace the sugar in my peach crumble and it was delicious. Actually, I can't wait to try this with the other herbs in my garden, like thyme and lemon balm.

A very good basil syrup. Just tried it a second time with lime zest instead of lemon. I'm anxious to use it!

it is wonderful and everyone loves the question:has anyone ever frozen the syrup? i want this in the winter and how great to take our abundance of basil and make something other than pesto!!

Delicious and so refreshing! This recipe makes a ton of syrup! Good for two pitchers of lemonade:)

This makes a lot more syrup than needed for the vodka gimlets! After two pitchers over the last few weekends, this weekend I made a watermelon cocktail! Froze watermelon chunks after removing the seeds, filled blender, added one martini glass of vodka, one martini glass of the simple syrup and juice of 1 - 1 1/2 limes! blend and drink, but be careful, it goes down easy! I had to repeat it again yesterday for my sister after work. Of course, sadly, my husband and daughter had to scrounge for leftovers for dinner as I no longer felt like cooking. LOL

Lake side, loons, and basil vodka gimlets. doesn't get much better than that. Awesome summertime drink for just me or me and a bunch of friends!

This syrup is wonderful in the basil lemonade recipe also found on this site--everyone raved about it and it disappeared as soon as I put it out at a recent party--and I think it would be great to make some summery cocktails as well. I think the few people who thought it was "too sweet" or undrinkable must have tried it on its own, which is pretty clearly not how it's meant to be served.

An addition any bar tended could keep to make up simple cocktails or non alcoholic summertime drinks. I substituted agave nectar for the sugar (1 cup agave to 2 cup sugar for a tart lemonade mixture or 1.5 cup agave to 2 cup sugar for a sweeter mixture.)

I used purple basil and the syrup turned out a pretty pink color. The gimlets are a great drink for a summer afternoon.

Delicious. I have made this often to rave reviews and recipe requests. It's so simple. You can easily adapt it to make limeade or any other combination of citrus fruits. Likewise, I have substituted the basil with mint, thyme, lavender, scented geranium and/or a mix with lemon verbena. This is a very versatile base recipe. Equally tasty with the suggested vodka gimlets or substituting an equivalent of water for non-alcoholic mixers.

Try pouring some on plate and using it as a sauce for a mild flavored cake or torte.

I love making this syrup to use in gimlets when the weather gets nicer, and I think it really deserves a better overall rating. If it isn't obvious, it's meant to be used as a syrup for flavoring other drinks like the "basil vodka gimlets" found on this site, not to be drank on its own. To the negative reviewers, give it another chance! :)

This drink tasted like basil flavored sweet tea. Way too much sugar. Undrinkable.

Delish, made a couple of times. I used 1 cup of sugar cause I don't like overly sweet anything. Mix with vodka for a great summer drink.

This is the third time I made this, but I cut the sugar by half down to 1 cup and I think it's a better result -- not so sweet as before. Poured it over vodka and ice. Yum!

This is just awful!! I was really looking forward to a refreshing summer drink, but it was way too sweet. It was undrinkable, and we had to pour it out.

This was a wonderfully addictive syrup. Just different enough to be special. Give it a try!

The one drawback to this recipe is that I crave it! I adore the Vodka Gimlets, and I keep a supply of this syrup on hand to spice up any drink (even just water). It can be frozen (I use an ice cube tray), and although it never hardens like ice, it keeps a long time and mixes easily into cold drinks. A real winner!

Very good and simple. I used only 1-1/2 cups of sugar instead of 2 (I don't like my drinks really really sweet) and it still had plenty sweetness for me and my fellow drinker's tastes. Used the syrup for Lemon Basil Gimlets on this site for Easter cocktails in Florida, and everyone loved them. Will definitely make again!

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Lemon Lime Simple Syrup

Since we’re drinking at home a lot more (I haven’t been to a bar in ages!), we’ve been experimenting with cocktails and having fun trying new things, like lemon lime simple syrup! Simple syrup is so easy to make, and having a citrus syrup legit makes us feel like mixologists whipping up new cocktails every night.

I’ve gotta say, Omied makes a pretty hot bartender!

We made a batch of this lemon lime simple syrup and our new juicer gifted from Zulay Kitchen made the juicing part so, so easy! I freaking love this thing!

We kept our simple syrup in the fridge and like I said, it’s really upped our cocktail game. We store it in a squeeze bottle so we can easily grab it and add it to drinks or even food. Here are just a few examples of how I’ve used our lemon lime syrup:

  • Added the lemon lime simple syrup to sparkling water with a splash of gin for a super easy and delicious drink.
  • Added the citrus simple syrup to flat or sparkling water for a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage.
  • Added the simple syrup to a to a canned hard seltzer drink for an added zest and flavor.
  • Drizzling the syrup over fruit salad (made of watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, yum!).
  • Mixing in with iced tea (no granulated sugar at the bottom of your iced tea, yay!).
  • Now that I think about it, you could also use it in hot tea too!
  • Drizzled over pancakes or waffles.

The possibilities are endless. We’re pretty much always going to have some kind of simple syrup on-hand in the fridge going forward because it really just spices up any drink! It keeps for a really long time since it’s literally just sugar and lemon/lime juice, but we usually use it up within a couple months. Here’s how to make lemon lime simple syrup:


After cooking in the skillet, the simple syrup will have thickened and reduced substantially and you&rsquoll be left with a nice cup or so of the liquid.

Don&rsquot throw it out!

Reserve the syrup from the skillet and pour into a jar. This lemon flavored sugar syrup is good for so many uses!

You can add it to tea, drizzle it over pancakes, waffles (this lemon vanilla waffle French toast especially!) or toast.

Or, even use it in a baking recipe with lemon flavor like these strawberry lemon scones or this lemon poppyseed bread.

The possibilities are endless and the syrup will keep for quite some time so definitely don&rsquot discard it after making the candied lemon slices!

Top 10 Best Lemon Juice Recipes

1. Best Recipe: Lemonade (4 Servings)

This sweetened lemon-flavored beverage is a must-have summer drink. This particular one is rich with typical tangy and sweet flavors that create a classic lemonade.

The addition of basil gives a fresh aroma and cooling sensation that goes exceedingly well with the lemon.


  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1.75 cups water
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 2 cups ice cubes


  1. Add sugar and basil leaves to a large pitcher and use a muddler to crush the leaves and release the fragrance (a spoon could also work).
  2. Add lemon, honey, and 3 tablespoons of water to dilute the mixture. Mix well to combine.
  3. Add the rest of the water into the pitcher and stir. Add ice and serve.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon Juice (4 Servings)

Apple cider vinegar and lemon juice is a tart drink that’s bright and refreshing. It also has heart-health benefits.

Together with lemongrass, honey, sugar, and lemon, you have a zesty beverage with a perfect balance of sweetness.


  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 oz lemongrass
  • 2 cups ice cubes


  1. Use a knife to remove the outer layer of lemongrass. Cut into chunks. Use the back of a knife and gently pound each stalk about 4-5 times until it releases a fragrance.
  2. In a large pitcher, add the apple cider vinegar, lemon, water, sugar, and honey. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add lemongrass and ice, stir and serve.

3. Milk and Lemon Juice (4 Servings)

Milk and lemon juice is not a common combination of flavors. However, this recipe doesn’t fall short of delicious.

It’s bursting with sweet, succulent notes of maple syrup, milk, and sugar. Mint and lemon add zest and emulsion that make this beverage a creamy refreshment, perfect for accompanying any breakfast.


  • 3.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 16 fl oz milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 6 mint leaves, fresh
  • 2 cups ice cubes


  1. In a large bowl, add water, milk, honey, and sugar. Use a wooden spoon to stir until all the sugar has completely dissolved.
  2. Serve over ice and garnish with mint leaves.

4. Honey and Lemon Juice (4 Servings)

This honey and lemon juice recipe is a therapeutic beverage with the remedial effects of honey’s soothing properties. Lemon and thyme, too, provide nutrition to support the immune system, making this beverage perfect for combatting a cold.

The mixture results in an earthy-herbaceous essence owed to the thyme, with sweet and tangy notes that resemble a lemonade.


  • 2.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 3 lemon leaves, for garnish


  1. Add lemon, honey, and water into a large pitcher and stir to combine.
  2. Add ice, thyme, and lemon leaves. Serve.

5. Lemon and Watermelon Juice (4 Servings)

This lemon and watermelon juice is a nutrition-packed beverage that promotes heart health, thanks to watermelon juice’s antioxidant properties. It’s a sweet-sour combination enriched by refreshing notes of mint that give this drink a neat finish.


  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 24 oz watermelon, peeled, deseeded
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups ice cubes


  1. Juice watermelon and collect the juice in a pitcher. Add lemon and sugar, and stir until sugar dissolves.
  2. Add ice to the pitcher and serve.

6. Cucumber and Lemon (4 Servings)

This cucumber and lemon juice is a light beverage with calm, refreshing notes. Cucumber and lemon go well together, and you can omit the sugar for a skinny drink.

You’ll love it for combating the summer heat. Cucumbers are highly hydrating, while mint leaves a fresh, crisp feeling on your tongue.


  • 30 oz cucumbers
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups ice


  1. Slice cucumbers in half and use a spoon to scrape off the seeds, lengthwise.
  2. Feed prepped cucumbers and basil leaves into a running juicer. Collect the juice in a large pitcher.
  3. Add juice and sugar to the pitcher and stir to dissolve.
  4. Pour and serve with ice.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar Lemon Juice and Honey (1 Serving)

This healthy infusion is a warm beverage with combined earthy flavors. The apple cider vinegar adds a tartness while ginger adds warm, spicy notes.

Lemon and honey is a therapeutic combination too. It brings soothing properties that make this beverage excellent for fighting a cold.


  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 12 fl oz hot water
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, raw, unfiltered
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp ginger juice, fresh/ 1/2 tsp powdered ginger spice


8. Water and Lemon (8 Servings)

Lemon water is a beverage that’s suitable for any occasion. It’s a 1-calorie beverage that you can use to replace plain water.

And it tastes good too! You can add cucumbers for a subtle aroma while keeping it low in calories and healthy.



  1. In a pitcher, add lemon slices and use a wooden spoon to mash them to release juices.
  2. Add cold water and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve.

9. Ginger Lemon (2 Servings)

Ginger and lemon are both renowned for their immune-boosting properties.

This ginger lemon juice recipe packs plenty of vitamin C and antioxidants that promote health. It’s a warming blend of sweet, spicy, and citrus flavors that are perfect for a morning beverage.


  • 20 fl oz boiling water
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1/8 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp honey (optional)


  1. Add lemon, ginger, and turmeric to boiling water. Leave to steep for 30 minutes.
  2. Strain and serve at room temperature.

10. Vodka with Lemon Juice (1 Serving)

This refreshing martini is a tasty balance of sweet and sour flavors. It has tangy lemon essence and bitter Cointreau to form a citrus palate mixed with vodka.

The simple syrup brings a much-needed sugary element to balance the flavors. And to maintain your overall health, have a glass of water whenever you drink alcohol like vodka.

It helps to keep you hydrated while counteracting the dehydrating effects of alcohol. And you’ll appreciate water more, especially in the summer heat!


Lemon Sugar

Lemon Drop Martini

  • 2 fl oz vodka
  • 1.5 tbsp Cointreau/Triple sec
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1.5 tbsp simple syrup
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • lemon sugar, for glass rim


  1. Start by making the lemon sugar rim. On a plate, rub sugar and lemon zest together until it turns yellow.
  2. Moisten the rim of a martini glass with some lemon, turn it upside down, and twist the glass rim in the lemon sugar. Turn upright and set aside.
  3. To make the martini, add vodka, Cointreau, lemon, simple syrup, and ice into a cocktail shaker/mason jar. Shake for 30 seconds and strain into a martini glass. Serve.

With this mouth-watering collection of lemon juice recipes, your summer can begin at any time. Whether you make one or all of them, we hope you enjoy.

You can even add your own fruity flavors to vary your favorite recipes. And you can keep these recipes long after summer as simplistic beverages for occasional consumption.