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Coffee Syrup [Liquid Sugar for Cold Drinks]

Mix together sugar and water in a sauce pan to make this simple syrup that will store on your shelf for months.  Use it to sweeten your iced coffee beverage – or any cold drink – instead of table sugar so it blends nicely without needing to dissolve.

Simple Syrup for Iced Coffee (Liquid Sugar)If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that we spent this last weekend in Birmingham, Alabama, just for fun.  This was our first family trip with no agenda to visit friends or family, or travel for work!  It was really nice to just enjoy our kids and each other.

Birmingham is AWESOME!  We’ve driven through and stopped for lunch during road trips to North Carolina, but we’ve never spent any real time there before.  I’m so glad it’s only less than 4 hours away, making it a great place to visit for the weekend.  We definitely plan to go back A LOT!  Birmingham actually has a great food scene, too! …more on that later.

Have you been to Birmingham?  If so, tell me your favorite places because I’m keeping a Birmingham Pinterest board to bookmark any ideas for future visits!

Simple Syrup for Iced Coffee (Liquid Sugar)Whenever we travel, we always treat ourselves to iced coffee, usually at Starbucks since I have gift cards.  ;)  Funny enough, though, this weekend we were missing our homemade iced coffee!  Weird, I know.  I think it’s because when I make it at home, I can make it exactly how I want it.  When I order it at a coffee shop, I just quickly say “vanilla iced coffee with cream, please!” and hope the barista just magically knows the ratio I like.  Ha!

Everyone has different tastes, but my perfect iced coffee ratio is about 3/4th cold brew coffee concentrate, 1/8th water, 1/8th milk and then about 2-3 Tablespoons of this homemade liquid sugar sweetener.  Ben, on the other hand, likes it a little less strong with about a 1:1 ratio of coffee concentrate to water, then adds his favorite International Delight French Vanilla creamer.

Simple Syrup for Iced Coffee (Liquid Sugar)When it comes to hot coffee, I stir in raw sugar (my favorite right now is Tate + Lyle – have you tried it?).  But, raw sugar – and even regular table sugar – does not dissolve too well into cold coffee.  That’s why I keep this liquid sugar on hand.  It makes a bunch and I just store it in a air-tight bottle on my countertop, with the rest of my coffee bar items.  And, you can use it to sweeten any of your favorite beverages, not just coffee.  Or, package it up as a gift!

I have made a pumpkin spiced version of liquid sweetener, and plan to try more varieties in the future.  But, right now, I like it simple.  How do you drink your iced coffee?

Coffee Syrup (Liquid Sugar for Cold Drinks)

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Coffee Syrup (Liquid Sugar for Cold Drinks)

Mix together sugar and water in a sauce pan to make this simple syrup that will store on your shelf for months. Use it to sweeten your iced coffee beverage - or any cold drink - instead of table sugar so it blends nicely without needing to dissolve.

  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, cook and stir the water and sugars over medium-high heat until thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Allow to cool completely, then pour (using a funnel) into a bottle with an air-tight lid or pump dispenser. Store on your counter-top up to two months.

Recipe Source: Paula Deen


(The lemon juice is to keep the liquid sugar from crystalizing and does not add lemon flavor.) Add 3 Tablespoons of vanilla extract to make this a vanilla syrup, or try any other favorite flavored extract.

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  1. Okay I could go on and on about Birmingham/Tuscaloosa/Montevallo so I will leave you with a few important ones:

    Children’s Museum of Tuscaloosa (CHOM) – it is smaller than the one in Jackson but if you want to break up your trip (kids need to get some energy out) – it is a great place to spend a couple of hours – (make sure you don’t go on home game days as there would be nowhere to park) and its right by a ton of “local” Tuscaloosa restaurants.

    McWane Science Center (Birmingham) – your kids might be a little young for it now, but we went there several times for field trips – I enjoyed it even in high school

    Birmingham Civil Rights Institute – this might be an adults only excursion but it is super-well done and if you go on Sunday afternoon it is free.

  2. Chez Fonfon in Birmingham is great! I’m not a chocolate lover but their chocolate pot de creme is out of this world good, and they have solid french bistro food that is pretty reasonable.

  3. Would you be able to use splenda??

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Mandy,
      I haven’t tried making this with Splenda, but I believe you can substitute it in using a 1:1 ratio with the water. So, 3 cups Splenda stirred into 3 cups of water. Also, you might not need to cook it as long since it won’t hardly thicken and it dissolves more quickly than water. Should keep for a couple of weeks. Let us know how it turns out! (Maybe start with 1 cup Splenda and 1 cup water)

  4. Hi Nikki,

    Greetings from Indonesia.

    I noticed that cold brew coffee can be store up to one month, but how about if I blend it first with syrup then store it? Can it be store up to 1 month also?
    So every time i want my iced coffee, it’s already has flavor and ready to drink!
    Thanks so much!


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