brown sugar cocktail syrup

February 10, 2012

I am not in charge of the cocktailery that takes place in our house. I leave that to the man candy.

Even though I am a licensed mixologist (truth!) he can create a cocktail worth making again. I am instead tasked with the prep. I cut the lemons, refill the ice cube trays, and make the simple syrup.

We always have a bottle in our fridge, which I usually make with white sugar, but today I tried it with brown sugar. I immediately fell in love. Probably because brown sugar cocktail syrup is perfect with bourbon.

Try it and you’ll be ready for cocktail hour in no time!

Brown sugar simple syrup is, well, simple.

All you need is know is that the ratio is 1:1. I used two cups of brown sugar and two cups water.

You could also cut the ratio in half and only use one cup of each. But it practically lasts forever, so why not go ahead and get wild?

Combine the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar has dissolved. Let cool and pour into a fancy little bottle.

I’m here to say that the funnel is an under-appreciated necessity. I know from experience. Do not try to pour into a tiny bottle without this important tool.

The cooled syrup goes into a cute lil’ bottle. I had to use a few bottles since I made a big batch.

Oh why hello there hostess gift! Make a few just to have around. You never know when you need a homemade gift.

Enough with the work. Let’s make cocktails!

Gather your supplies. Big ice cubes. Bourbon. Lemon. Brown sugar cocktail syrup.

Pour a little of the syrup into the bottle of glass, add a squeeze of lemon, a shot of bourbon, an ice cube, then top it off with seltzer.

Brown Sugar Cocktail Syrup
Makes two cups

2 cups brown sugar
2 cups water

Combine the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar has dissolved. Let cool. Pour into small bottles. Store in the fridge. It will last for a few weeks, if not months.


Bourbon and lipstick. Two of my favorite things and a little homage to grandmothers everywhere. Cheers!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

BarbaraJM June 15, 2013 at 6:51 am

Great to see your post for brown sugar cocktail syrup.
A few years back I was trying to crack the code (recipe) for
Starbucks mocha frappuccino. By accident, actually because I was out of sugar
and dying for an iced coffee, I used brown sugar instead. That was the elusive flavor
I had not been able to recreate at home. If you add Ghirardelli Chocolate‎ to your
recipe it is the perfect flavoring for mocha iced coffee. I keep a jar of both syrups in my refrigerator
and a gallon of cold brewed coffee for my favorite drink concoctions.


Joe March 21, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Hey! I recently discovered the joys of brown sugar and grapefruit’s and was trying to think of a way to make a cocktail that would show my love for both. Thanks for the idea and now… off to the natural food store (their brown sugars sooooo much better) grapefruit+Bourbon+brown sugar crazier things have been delicious


Pedro May 26, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Great stuff!

How long did you boil it?



Lillie May 28, 2014 at 10:57 am

Hi Pedro – once the mixture has come to a boil and the sugar has dissolved it is ready to go!


Trev August 27, 2016 at 4:52 pm

I tried this. Two cups of brown sugar and two cups of water. Brought it to a boil and let it cool in the fridge and I just have brown water. Not really a syrup, is it supposed to be like that?


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