It is no secret that simple syrup is an essential ingredient if you are a fan of making cocktails regularly. However, did you know that you can also make simple syrup using honey (aka honey water) and use it the same way you use simple syrup made with sugar?
I have been committed to sharing naturally sweetened desserts for over 6 years now, and this is one of those staples that I always have on hand. It takes only a few minutes to make and deserves a spot in your pantry if you are into a healthier way of sweetening your food.
Why should you make your own honey water recipe?
- It is an excellent refined-sugar-free alternative to sweeten your cocktails, coffee, or even baked goods.
- You can definitely buy honey syrup from the store, but it will cost you somewhere around $10-$30 (Starbucks’ Honey Blend Syrup sells for over $20). Following this honey syrup recipe, you can make as much as you need more economically.
- When you make it at home, you know what goes in there. In other words, no preservatives, no additives, and no pasteurization. Plus, you can use your favorite honey.
Ingredients & Ratio of Honey To Water:
All you need is honey and water. My go-to ratio for honey simple syrup is 1 to 1. In other words, you will need 1 cup of water for every cup of honey.
This ratio provides a liquid texture with a runny consistency, which is why people also refer to it as “honey water.” If you want the texture to be thicker (more of a richer texture), you can increase the honey amount and use the ratio of 1 ½ part honey to 1 part water.
How To Make Honey Syrup?
The steps to making honey-based simple syrup can not be easier. Simply:
- Place honey and water into a small saucepan over medium low heat.
- Heat just until honey is completely dissolved. You do not need to bring it to a boil (more on that below); we just want to come to a full liquid state.
- Place in a heat-proof jar with a tight-fitting lid (such as a mason jar or a weck jar – affiliate link). Let it come to room temperature on the kitchen counter.
Important Tip – Do not boil honey!
If you ever tried your hand in dissolving honey in cold water (or any other cold liquid), you know that it is almost impossible to do so. You have to thin it out in warm water first.
However, this does not mean you should boil it. According to Bee Health, honey should not be heated rapidly over direct heat. Because excessive heat can have detrimental effects on the nutritional state of honey.
That is why we do not want to bring it to a boil. Instead, we are just dissolving honey in water to thin it out and make it easy to mix into drinks and food more quickly.
The best thing about that is that it takes about 2 minutes to completely dissolve, so you don’t have to wait too long in front of the stovetop.
How Long Does It Last?
Honey simple syrup will last up to 1 month as long as it is kept in an airtight container in the fridge. I am a big fan of Weck jars (affiliate link), but a mason jar would also work.
Ways To Use It:
The uses of honey syrup are endless. Here are a few ways I use in my daily cooking:
- As a sweetener in cocktails and mocktails: You can pretty much use it in any cocktail or mocktail recipe in place of simple syrup. Try my Raspberry Lemon Drop Martini , Blueberry Tequila Cocktail, Strawberry Basil Cocktail in Pitcher, or Strawberry Basil Mocktail to get you started.
- Coffee, Tea, and even specialty drinks: Add in any warm beverage as a sweetener. I usually use it to sweeten my Golden Milk and Ginger Turmeric Tea (my remedy for sore throat).
- Breakfast items and baked goods: Drizzle it over pancakes, waffles, or brush over cakes for honey flavor. It is also a good option if you are following a paleo diet.
Variations & Flavor Combos:
Use this basic recipe to make your own flavored honey syrup. Here are a few variations:
- Honey Lavender Simple Syrup: Of the heat, steep 3 tablespoons of edible lavender flowers (affiliate link) for every cup of honey syrup for a minimum of 15 minutes up to an hour. The longer it sits, the stronger it will be. Strain and store in an airtight container.
- Ginger Honey Syrup: Peel an inch of fresh ginger root and chop it into small pieces. Bring water and ginger to a boil and let it simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Strain. Add honey and mix until it is fully dissolved.
- Use fresh herbs like rosemary and mint: Add in a handful of fresh mint leaves or a few sprigs of rosemary and let them steep for a few hours.
I usually use local organic honey that I buy from our local farmers’ market. However, raw honey (aka “as it exists in the beehive”) can also be used. While you can use regular store-bought honey, I try to stay away from it as some producers add sugar to bring down the costs.
I would not recommend heating honey in the microwave. Instead, you can heat up the water in the microwave, add in the honey until it is fully dissolved.
Honey Simple Syrup Recipe
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2/3 cup water
- Place honey and water in a small saucepan over medium low heat.
- Cook until honey fully dissolves*, 1-2 minutes.
- Place in a heatproof jar, bring it to room temperature and seal with a lid before storing.
- *No need to bring it to a boil: We are heating it until it dissolves. I would highly recommend not heating it any longer as excessive heat can have negative effects on the nutritional state of honey.
- A note on the Texture of this honey syrup: Be aware that the texture of this honey syrup is very liquid-y and that is normal. If you want it to have a thicker texture you can use an additional 1/2 cup honey.
- How long does it last? Honey simple syrup will last up to 1 month as long as it is kept in an airtight container in the fridge. I am a big fan of Weck jars (affiliate link), but a mason jar would also work.
- What type of honey should I use? I usually use local organic honey that I buy from our local farmers’ market. However, raw honey (aka “as it exists in the beehive”) can also be used.
I’m wondering if I can sub in half fresh lemon juice for half of the water? Do you think this would work?
I think that should work. It would taste delicious too. 🙂