Demerara syrup is a great way to add a touch of caramel, toffee-like sweetness to your iced coffee, tea, cocktails, and other homemade drinks. This demerara simple syrup recipe takes less than 5 minutes to make and has only two ingredients.
What is Demerara Syrup?
Demerara syrup is a simple syrup made with demerara sugar and water. This varies from a classic syrup only in the form of sugar used: demerara sugar vs white sugar.
Demerara Syrup Ingredients
This demerara syrup uses only two ingredients: water and demerara sugar. Where can you buy demerara sugar? It is a pretty common item and can be found in most grocery stores as well as online.
Demerara Sugar vs Turbinado Sugar vs Brown Sugar
Demerara sugar is different from turbinado sugar in that it has less molasses content, so it has a milder less molasses-like flavor. Demerara sugar is a type of brown sugar, but not the same as the type that is labeled brown sugar in the store. Demerara sugar undergoes less processing than typical brown sugar and has a much coarser texture.
How to Make Demerara Syrup
Add demerara sugar and water into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir or whisk often until all sugar is dissolved (about 2-3 minutes).
Allow it to cool and add it to a glass storage bottle (a funnel will help). Seal tightly.
What Are Some Popular (Simple/Demerara) Syrup Flavors for Cocktails?
Add these ingredients while simmering the sugar and water, then strain when the sugar is fully dissolved.
Vanilla – Add 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract or one vanilla bean sliced open.
Ginger & cardamom – Add 3 tablespoons cardamom pods and 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped.
Cinnamon – Add a few cinnamon sticks.
Orange – Add zest from 1 orange.
Pumpkin spice – Add ½ cup canned pumpkin, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Heat until sugar is fully dissolved. (Do not strain this flavor).
- Make sure to stir your syrup often while dissolving the sugar. Do not allow it to boil or the consistency may get too thick.
- Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature and use a funnel to add it to the glass storage bottle. Allow it to cool completely prior to using it for cold drinks.
- Do not substitute brown or turbinado sugar in this syrup. Demerara has a unique flavor profile; that has a slightly toffee-like tone vs the buttery flavor of a brown sugar syrup and the molasses-like flavor of a turbinado sugar syrup.
- Add a large splash of vodka and/or store it in the refrigerator to help extend the shelf life of the syrup.
How to Use Demerara Syrup
These are so many delicious ways to use demerara (or other simple syrup). Popular options include cocktails, coffee, tea, and gifts. See below for some fun ideas.
Cocktail Recipes That Use Demerara (or Simple) Syrup
Demerara is amazing in cocktails that would benefit from a warm toffee-like sweetness such as: Old Fashioneds (Rum or Bourbon), Whiskey Sours, Manhattans, Side Cars, and Sazeracs.
Beverages Using Demerara Syrup
Demerara’s warm sweetness make a great sweetener for: iced coffee, lattes, espresso, and black iced tea.
Not sure what to get them for the holidays or birthday? Food and beverage items are well-loved items! Demerara syrup tied with a cute ribbon makes a fun, sweet, and flavorful option. If you’re looking for a food gift to go along with your beverage gift, try these cute individual charcuterie boxes.
Turbinado sugar is the best substitute for demerara sugar as its closest in texture and the flavor is similar though the notes of molasses are much stronger.
The only equipment used are measuring cups, a small saucepan, and your syrup bottle of choice. If adding extra flavor, a small mesh strainer is helpful. A small funnel (optional) can also be helpful to help pour the cooled syrup into the bottle.
Demerara syrup will last about one month in the refrigerator. Add a large splash of vodka to help extend the shelf life of the syrup.
Pre-made demerara syrup and/or sugar can be found at Walmart as well as online (Amazon).
Yes, this syrup is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy free.
Demerara syrup is made of only demerara sugar and water.
Demerara syrup is made from demerara sugar while simple syrup is typically made from white sugar. This lends it a richer, warmer, and more toffee like flavor than simple syrup.
Demerara syrup can be made into a rich simple syrup by using a 2:1 ratio instead. Use the recipe instructions in the recipe card below, but for ingredients use 1 cup demerara sugar and ½ cup water. When you use the syrup, you will need less to sweeten your cocktail, tea, or coffee.
Here’s to simply sweetened coffee, cocktails, and more. And of course, regaining our sparkle together,
- 1 cup demerara sugar
- 1 cup water
- Add demerara sugar and water into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat.
- Stir or whisk often until all sugar is dissolved (about 2-3 minutes).
- Allow it to cool and add it to a glass storage bottle. Seal tightly.