Lemon Simple Syrup

4.92 from 12 votes
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Learn how to make lemon simple syrup at home. Sweet, sour, and oh so lemony, this easy lemon syrup recipe is perfect for lemonade, cocktails and so much more!

Lemon syrup in a bottle and seven and a half lemons around it

A lemon syrup recipe should be a staple – and if don’t have one, I’m about to give you a fantastic one. I’m often looking for simple ways to add flavor to a dish or even to find something that’ll give a dish a complete makeover.

Enter – lemons. Your kitchen’s most useful ingredient. Lemon can instantly elevate a dish from bland to brilliant. And for some dishes, this lemon syrup with just two whole ingredients is the only way forward.

A bottle with sugar syrup made with lemon

The best part? Lemons are super good for you. They’re high in Vitamin C and fiber. They can also help to regulate your blood pressure.

They can also support your digestive tract. I talk more about the health benefits of lemons in my post here.

The Ingredients

  • Lemons: It’s best to use fresh lemon juice for this simple syrup recipe. Use whatever lemons you have to hand. If you can choose, pick Meyer lemons as they are a super juicy, slightly sweeter variety. It’s best to use organic, unwaxed lemons wherever possible.
  • Sugar: White sugar is best here. Go for granulated sugar, cane or caster sugar, depending on how much sweetness you want. These sugars have smaller crystals, so they’re great for this simple lemon syrup. 
Ingredients for lemon simple syrup

How to Make Lemon Syrup

Prepare the Lemons

This is an optional step but I highly recommend starting by zesting your lemons – it’s so much easier before they’re juiced. 

If you don’t have a zester at home, check my five different methods for getting the zest of a lemon without a zester. You can then freeze the lemon zest for longer storage.

Next, juice the lemons. I have also shared six methods for getting the juice of a lemon without a juicer!

Prepare the Syrup

Add the lemon juice and sugar to a small saucepan. Over medium heat, let the mixture come to a soft boil. Stir frequently to make sure the sugar dissolves in the lemon juice (and you don’t burn the bottom of the pan).

Reduce, then simmer for about 10 minutes so the syrup thickens a little.

Steps for making lemon syrup

Sieve it, then leave it

Allow the lemon mixture to cool, then run it through a sieve. This will get rid of any lemon pulp leftover – and catch any seeds that might have accidentally fallen in. 

Finally, pour the syrup into an air-tight bottle or container and store it in the fridge.

Sieving syrup to remove the lemon pulp

What Can Lemon Simple Syrup be Used for?

My lemon syrup recipe is so versatile – you can use it for anything. 

Use it in the same way you would a simple syrup. Simple syrup is just sugar and water, so if a recipe calls for it, you can replace it with this simple lemon syrup. You can use it to keep cakes moist, drizzle it over pancakes or waffles, etc.

Another dish that is perfect with some added lemon syrup is fruit salad, like this Winter Fruit Salad. You can even add a splash or two to ice cream.

Use it in drinks. The place you’ll find simple syrup the most is in drinks. Use yours in lemonades, smoothies, cocktails, iced tea, hot tea, or even just plain old water.

Homemade lemon syrup in a bottle

How to Store Lemon Syrup?

The lemon syrup will keep in the fridge (technically) for a couple of months, but it’s best when used within two weeks of making. Otherwise, you can freeze it for up to 4 months. Store in glass bottles with secure lids for easy pouring and storing.

More Simple Recipes

If you try this lemon syrup recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Lemon Simple Syrup

4.92 from 12 votes
By: Samira
Learn how to make lemon simple syrup at home. Sweet, sour, and oh so lemony, this easy lemon syrup recipe is perfect for lemonade, cocktails and so much more!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 24 Tablespoons

Ingredients 
 

  • 11 oz white sugar 1.5 cups
  • 5 large lemons 1.5 cups/360 ml lemon juice

This will yield about 1.5 cups/360 ml of syrup

    Instructions 

    Prepare the Lemons

    Prepare the Syrup

    • Add the lemon juice and sugar to a small saucepan. Over medium heat, let the mixture come to a soft boil. Stir frequently to make sure the sugar dissolves in the lemon juice (and you don't burn the bottom of the pan).
    • Reduce, then simmer for about 10 minutes so the syrup thickens a little.

    Sieve the Syrup

    • Allow the lemon mixture to cool, then run it through a sieve. This will get rid of any lemon pulp leftover – and catch any seeds that might have accidentally fallen in. 
    • Pour the syrup into an air-tight bottle or container and store it in the fridge. 

    Notes

    To store: The lemon syrup will keep in the fridge (technically) for a couple of months, but it’s best when used within two weeks of making. Otherwise, you can freeze it for up to 4 months. Store in glass bottles with secure lids for easy pouring and storing.
     
    Check the blog post for lots of serving recommendations!
    Course: Condiment, Dessert, DIYs, Drinks
    Cuisine: American, Global
    Freezer friendly: 4 Months
    Shelf life: 2 Weeks

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1Tbsp, Calories: 57kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 31mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 5IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 6mg, Iron: 1mg

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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    6 Comments

      1. Hi there,
        As mentioned in the post, I highly recommend starting off by zesting your lemons before they’re juiced. Is this what you are looking for?

        1. I think that commenter means that you didn’t tell us what to do with the zest in the recipe directions. So, was it supposed to go into the pot with the other ingredients? It doesn’t say to do that. So I didn’t.
          🙁

        2. Hi there,
          Thanks for your comment and sorry if the step instructions weren’t clear. You don’t need the zest for this recipe. But I recommend zesting the lemons in advance (if wanted) and freezing the zest so it can be used for other recipes in the future. I hope this helps.

        3. Hi Sarah,
          My simple lemonade recipe is 3 cups water, 1 cup lemon juice, and 1 cup simple syrup. If you are using lemon syrup, you can start with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of lemon juice and then adjust to taste so it doesn’t become too lemony. Let me know how it goes.