How To Make Brown Sugar Syrup For Coffee

Move over, basic simple syrup, brown sugar is stepping in for a minute (or a while?). With its rich, caramel, and toffee-like essence, it really transforms your iced coffee, homemade lattes, and favorite cocktails. It’s adding depth and sweetness.

Spoon scooping brown sugar simple syrup from jar.

You’ll only need two ingredients and just a couple of minutes until it’s ready to use. Even better? It keeps in the fridge for weeks, so you can have it on hand for all your beverage needs!

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What is Simple Syrup?

Traditional simple syrup is essentially liquid sugar. Granulated sugar dissolves into the water creating a sweet liquid that is perfect for adding to drinks.

It’s especially useful for cold drinks because the sugar is already dissolved. Otherwise, it takes a lot longer to stir in the sugar, and often times that results in a grainy drink. No good. So, it’s simple syrup to the rescue!

Simple syrup can be flavored in so many ways – from fresh fruit, herbs, and spices. You can even use a variety of sweeteners, like honey or in this case, brown sugar.

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Light or Dark Brown Sugar?

Brown sugar is granulated sugar that has the addition of molasses, which gives it that distinctive brown color. Molasses is another liquid sugar that’s dark and syrupy and is what gives brown sugar its sweet caramel-like flavor.

  • Light Brown Sugar is made with less molasses than dark and is milder in flavor.
  • Dark Brown Sugar is made with about double the amount of molasses and has a richer flavor, but can sometimes be more bitter.
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Brown sugar in bowl with whisk next to water.

Either dark or light brown sugar can be used to make simple syrup, depending on what you’re making. For the most deep, rich brown sugar flavor, try dark!

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Let’s Make Brown Sugar Syrup!

This is probably one of the easiest recipes around. You really cannot mess it up. It’s only a matter of dissolving the sugar in the water, but here are a few tips for making it as successful as possible.

Saucepan with brown sugar and water.
  1. Combine the sugar and water.
  2. Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved. It doesn’t have to boil for the sugar to dissolve.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. Use, or store in the fridge.

Simmer the water first before adding the sugar if you’re in a hurry. It will heat up faster and speed the process along, saving a few precious minutes.


If you’d like even more flavor in the simple syrup, you can add vanilla extract, too.

Depending on how you’ll be using it, such as in fall cocktails or coffee recipes, try adding a cinnamon stick. It is the base for our autumn spice simple syrup, after all!

Try adding a splash of maple syrup, too. Or combine it with caramel syrup for a delicious flavor combination!

Brown sugar simple syrup pouring into jar.

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How sweet is it?

The most common ratio for making simple syrup is a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar (i.e. equal parts). You can adjust the amount as needed, whether it’s 1 cup sugar and water, 1/2 cup sugar and water, or anything in between.

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A 1:1 ratio creates a thin consistency, think maple syrup, but thinner. It’s perfect for any beverage.

A 2:1 ratio can be used too, to make it sweeter. This means that there are 2 parts sugar to one part water, or double the sugar. This creates a “rich” simple syrup, made using the same process, but results in a thicker, more viscous texture. It’s sweeter, so you can use less of it to achieve the same sweetness level.

How to Store Simple Syrup

While simple syrup stays good for quite a long time in the fridge, it does eventually go bad.

To help it last as long as possible, usually 3-4 weeks, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. If you notice any cloudiness or an off-smell, it’s time to toss it out and start a new batch.

If you don’t anticipate using the batch in those few weeks, you can freeze simple syrup. I like to freeze it in individual portions using Souper Cubes because they’re easy to remove, too! A regular ice tray will work as well.

Bitters jar with brown sugar simple syrup next to other jars.

Ways to Use Brown Sugar Simple Syrup

Here are some of our favorite ways to use this super easy simple syrup!

  • Make a DIY shaken brown sugar iced latte.
  • Or add it to a hot latte or regular coffee for some caramelly sweetness.
  • Use it in bubble tea or sweeten iced tea.
  • Add it to an Old Fashioned cocktail (it’s great with bourbon or whiskey!).
  • Use it in place of regular simple syrup.

Additional FAQs

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

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More Simple Syrup Recipes

  • Mint Syrup
  • Ginger Syrup
  • Strawberry Syrup
  • Caramel Syrup
  • Vanilla Bean Syrup

Check out more of our favorite simple syrup recipes.