Lemon simple syrup is an easy recipe with only 2 ingredients – lemons and sugar. Great for cocktails, iced tea, or lemonade, it adds a sweet and tart kick to your drink. Plus it keeps in the fridge for weeks!
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Lemon simple syrup is one of those things that can be easier to make than to try and find in the store somewhere. All it requires is lemons and sugar, and a little bit of time.
While I don’t tend to sweeten my drinks often, I like making my own simple syrup at home because I can control how sweet I want it to be, as well as what type of sugar I use.
If you’ve got a gathering or cookout coming up, you can make this lemon simple syrup recipe and place it next to some iced tea or sparkling water for people to add in on their own. Or you can go extra fancy and use it to make a fun sparkling mocktail. The choice is up to you.
Grab these two ingredients
- Lemons – any lemons work here, though my favorite is Meyer lemons as they’re not as tart as regular lemons.
- Sugar – granulated sugar is best for this recipe as you want it to easily dissolve in the lemon juice.
How to make lemon simple syrup
- Peel the skin off one of the lemons, making sure to only get the yellow part and not the white pith.
- Juice the lemons until you have ½ cup of juice.
- Place the juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the suger and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the pot from the stove and transfer the lemon mixture to a bowl. Add in the lemon skin and let sit for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the skin from the mixture with tongs or by pouring it through a fine mesh strainer into a mason jar or other container.
- Once the lemon syrup is in a storage container, let it cool completely. Cover it with a lid and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
If you make end up making this simple syrup with lemon, then don’t forget to leave a star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below!
Lemon Simple Syrup
- A paring knife
- A juicer
- A medium saucepan
- A whisk or wooden spoon
- A fine mesh strainer
- A mason jar
- 2 to 3 lemons enough for ½ cup of juice
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- On top of a cutting board, slice the skin off one of the lemons with a vegetable peeler or paring knife, being sure to only get the yellow part, not the pith. The pith is the white part under the peel and can make the syrup bitter. Set the skin aside in a small bowl or container.
- Juice the lemons into the measuring cup, until you have half a cup of juice. This could take 2 or 3 lemons, depending on how juicy or large your lemons are.
- Put the lemon juice into a medium saucepan and place it over medium-high heat. Pour the sugar into the juice and stir with a whisk or wooden spoon until fully combined. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let the mixture simmer until slightly thickened. This will take at least 10 minutes, possibly up to 15. Be sure to stir the mixture occasionally so it thickens evenly.
- After the mixture has thickened, stir in the lemon zest then transfer to a bowl to let cool for roughly 20 minutes.
- Once cooled, remove the skins with a pair of tongs, or if necessary place a fine mesh strainer over a mason jar (or other container) and pour the syrup in. Place the lid on the jar and store the syrup in the fridge. The syrup can keep in the fridge for at least one month.