Mix together sugar and water in a sauce pan to make this simple coffee syrup that will store on your shelf for weeks. Use it to sweeten your iced coffee beverage - or any cold drink - instead of table sugar so it blends nicely without needing to dissolve.
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!
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 ¾th cold brew coffee concentrate, ⅛th water, ⅛th 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.
When it comes to hot coffee, I stir in raw sugar. 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?
This article was originally published August 2014 and updated January 2022 without altering the recipe.
Simple Syrup (Liquid Sugar for Cold Drinks)
- 3 ½ cups water
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- ½ 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. Cool completely.
- Using a funnel, pour into a bottle with an air-tight lid or pump dispenser. Store on your counter-top up to two months.