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Spruce up your drinks with home made syrups

By Mike Thayer

Vanilla Syrup
A vanilla syrup to have with my morning coffee

Regular readers know that I'm into flavored whiskeys, such as Revel Stoke Vanilla flavored whiskey .  I'm also into flavored coffee (hazelnut is my fave) and flavored tea (peach is SO good, but so is an Arnold Palmer). Heck, I like to flavor a simple glass of water, usually with a squeeze of fresh lime, sometimes I'll use one of those RealLime squeezer things and lately, it's been On The House Sweetened Lime Juice.

But I got to thinking, why pay extra for a flavored whiskey?  Why pay almost $4 for a bottle of sweetened lime juice?

Make your own sweetened syrup to add to your adult beverage, coffee, tea or water.  It's a great add to a smoothie too!

Today I'm making my own syrups, so far I've made a lime syrup and a vanilla syrup and they taste delicious.  They will keep in the refrigerator for better than two weeks and I'll have an assortment of syrups to choose from, spending pennies on the dollar compared to buying some kind of beverage that's already flavored or a store bought syrup.  I've got lime syrup for cocktails and to simply flavor a glass of water.  I've got vanilla syrup to flavor coffee, tea and yes, cocktails.  Seriously, why buy a vanilla flavored whiskey or vodka at $20 for a 750ml bottle when you can buy a Texas fifth (1.75L) for $14 and add a simple syrup to it?  Making your own syrup and adding it to a drink, be it a cocktail, coffee, tea, smoothie or water, saves you money without a sacrifice in flavor, and it doesn't take much time at all to make it!


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon flavoring

It's an easy formula, if you want more just double the 1-1-1 configuration.


Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Continue to cook at a rapid simmer (that means you have to stir constantly for those of you who live in Haysville) for about 8 minutes.  You want the syrup to thicken up a bit.  Remove from heat, stir in the flavoring and let cool.  Once cool, transfer to a squeeze bottle (available at Dollar Tree for $1.25) and refrigerate. 

Adding one Tablespoon of syrup to any kind of drink changes the flavor profile in a very good way.  But it does add about 50 calories to whatever you're inhaling so if you're counting calories, you may want to either cut back on the sugar, or use a sugar substitute.  Flavor results will vary, but play with it, it'll still be good and cost saving.  That's next on my experimenting, cutting the sugar with some Monk Fruit sugar substitute which I hear is pretty good.

The flavor options are pretty much endless too...  The flavors of orange, lemon, cherry, mint and yes even chocolate would work well with so many drink options.  Don't limit yourself!  Have fun with it.  I haven't quite worked out the Hazelnut flavor for my morning coffee yet, but I will be making an attempt with Nutella here in a bit, and I won't have to add any sugar.

Spruce up your drinks with home made syrups, you'll thank yourself for saving some money AND delivering some great flavor that you did yourself.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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