Find all your DIY electronics in the MakerShed. 3D Printing, Kits, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Books & more!

Make: Projects

Simple Syrup for Iced Drinks

Make a simple sugar solution to add to your iced coffee and tea.

Simple Syrup for Iced Drinks

In the summer, I drink my coffee almost exclusively iced. I stick the whole brewed pot in the fridge and mix in sugar and milk on a cup-by-cup basis. But why doesn’t granulated sugar dissolve well in my iced coffee? Just remember back to chemistry and physics: slower-moving molecules in the cold liquid don’t bounce around and react with the sugar as quickly or as energetically as in a hot cup o’ joe. I’m going to show you how to exploit this principle in the opposite direction. By combining heated water with an equal quantity of sugar, a concentrated solution is formed that holds true upon cooling. This new liquid substance has all the same sweetness of granulated sugar, but will mix easily into ice coffees and teas. Read on to make your own simple syrup.

Steps

Step #1:

PrevNext
Simple Syrup for Iced Drinks

Gather 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup granulated sugar and combine in a saucepan or microwave-safe dish.

Step #2:

PrevNext
Simple Syrup for Iced Drinks

Apply medium heat or stick the mixture in the microwave. Stir the mixture until all the sugar is dissolved. Don't let it get hot enough to boil, and remove from heat promptly. Let the solution cool to room temperature.

Step #3:

PrevNext
Simple Syrup for Iced Drinks

Use a funnel to transfer the syrup to a bottle for convenient dispensing. Mine's brown because I used unrefined sugar, but yours might be clear.

Step #4:

PrevNext
Simple Syrup for Iced Drinks

Add to your drinks to taste. Store it in the fridge.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and Director of Wearable Electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).


Comments

  1. G.R. says:

    Good jeezus, don’t show photos of a metal saucepan and suggest people stick it in the microwave. Someone might actually do it.

  2. Melanie says:

    Thanks for the simple syrup recipe. I can’t stand the granules but tend to deal with it because I’m too lazy to make the syrup. But I always cold brew my iced coffee. If you drink it as much as you say you do, then you should definitely at least try cold brewing your iced coffee. It’s soooo easy and tastes much, much better than a chilled cup of regular brew. Recipe: stir together 1/2 cup ground coffee with 8 cups (4 pints) cold water in a bowl or pot. Cover and let sit at room temp for 8 hours. Strain slowly in a coffee filter or cheese cloth that has been inserted into a fine mesh sieve. Put in the fridge and enjoy-stays fresh for weeks. You can double or triple the recipe which is probably what you’re going to want to do since you drink the iced stuff exclusively. Double: 1 cup to a half gallon of water.