How to Make Sugar Water

Four Methods:Making Sugar WaterMaking Concentrated Sugar WaterMaking Sugar Water for HummingbirdsAdding Variations to Sugar Water

Sugar water, also known as "simple syrup," is used to sweeten drinks, such as lemonade, iced tea, mint juleps, and cocktails.[1] It can also be used for making desserts and feeding humming birds. This article will show you several different ways of making sugar water. It will also give you some ideas on how to further enhance your sugar water.

Ingredients

Ingredients for Sugar Water[2]

  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) water
  • 1 cup (200 grams) white, granulated sugar

Ingredients for Concentrated Sugar Water[3]

  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) water
  • 2 cups (400 grams) white, granulated sugar

Ingredients for Hummingbird Sugar Water[4]

  • 4 cups (960 milliliters) water
  • 1 cup (200 grams) cane sugar


Method 1
Making Sugar Water

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    Fill a pot with 1 cup (240 milliliters) and 1 cup (200 grams) sugar. This will give you about 1 ½ cups (350 milliliters) of sugar water.[5] If you need to make more/less sugar water, then use one part water to one part sugar.
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    Set the pot on the stove and boil the water. The high temperature will help dissolve the sugar water faster. Be sure to stir often to help the sugar dissolve.
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    Reduce the water to a simmer and wait until the sugar dissolves. As soon as the water begins to boil, reduce the heat and bring the water to a simmer. It will take about three minutes for the sugar to dissolve.[6]
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    Take the pot off the stove and let it cool. Set it down onto a heat-resistant surface and let the mixture return to room temperature.
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    Transfer the mixture to a bottle. Place a funnel into the neck of a glass bottle, and carefully pour the sugar water into the bottle. If you cannot find a bottle, you can use a glass jar. Put the cap on the bottle and close it tightly.
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    Store the sugar water in the refrigerator. Use it within one month.[7] You can use sugar water to make lemonade or cocktails.

Method 2
Making Concentrated Sugar Water

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    Fill a pot with 1 cup (240 milliliters) of water and 2 cups (400 grams) of white, granulated sugar. If you need to make a smaller or larger amount, then use one part water and two parts sugar.
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    Set the pot on the stove and bring the mixture to a boil. Be sure to stir the water often to help the sugar dissolve.
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    Reduce the water to a simmer and wait for the sugar to dissolve. Once the water begins to boil, quickly lower the heat and bring it to a simmer; this prevents the sugar from scorching and becoming caramelized.
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    Remove the pot from the burner and let the water cool. Set the pot down on a heat-resistant surface and leave it uncovered until the mixture reaches room temperature.
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    Transfer the mixture to a bottle or jar. Place a funnel over the bottle or jar opening, and slowly pour the liquid inside. Replace the cap or lid and tighten it.
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    Store the sugar water in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for a few weeks to about a month.

Method 3
Making Sugar Water for Hummingbirds

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    Pour 4 cups (960 milliliters) of water and 1 cup (200 grams) cane sugar into a pot. Do not use red food coloring, honey, or any other type of sugar; any of these things may end up harming the hummingbirds. Honey spoils too quickly, and low-calorie and artificial sweeteners do not give hummingbirds enough calories.[8][9]
    • Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red; consider using a red-colored hummingbird feeder. This will be more effective than dying the water red.
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    Set the pot on a stove and set the heat to high. Even though you are using much more water than sugar, you will still need to heat it in order for the sugar to dissolve completely.
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    Bring the mixture to a boil and cook it until the sugar dissolves completely. This should take one to two minutes.[10]
    • Boiling the water is important, because the high heat will kill any bacteria that might be in the water.[11]
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    Remove the pot from the stove and let it cool. Set the pot down on a heat-resistant surface and let the mixture cool. During this time, you can clean your hummingbird feeder or make a new one.
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    Fill the hummingbird feeder and store the rest of the sugar water in the refrigerator. The sugar water will later about two weeks in the fridge.[12]
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    Maintain your hummingbird feeder. If you wish to attract hummingbirds with tasty sugar water, you will need to change it every two to three days—and everyday if it is hot outside. Hummingbirds will not drink spoiled sugar water. Also, be sure to keep your hummingbird feeder in the shade; keeping it out in the sun will cause the sugar to spoil faster.[13]
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    Consider keeping other insects away. Hummingbirds are not the only creatures who like nectar; bees and ants will also flock to your sugar water. Consider purchasing a hummingbird feeder with a moat that can be filled with water, or some bee guards.

Method 4
Adding Variations to Sugar Water

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    Consider using brown sugar instead of white. This will give you a richer flavor. It will also give the drink a golden tint; because of this, it is better to use the brown sugar water for rum-based drinks instead of clear drinks.[14]
    • You can also use honey instead of sugar for a sweet, golden syrup.[15]
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    Consider adding some rosewater. Substitute part of the water in your recipe for some rosewater. Be sure to use pure, edible rosewater; some rosewater types are for cosmetic purposes only and not meant to be consumed.[16]
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    Make some no-cook sugar water using castor sugar. Do not use confectioner's or powdered sugar. Simply pour one part castor sugar and one part water into a bottle, close the bottle, and shake it for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves. The fine grains of castor sugar make it easier to dissolve in water, so you don't need to cook it.[17]
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    Add herbs to the sugar water to make flavored syrup. [18] Once the sugar has dissolved, add the herbs of your choice, and take the pot off the stove. Let the herbs sit in the sugar water for an hour, then pour the sugar water into a new container through a strainer. Discard the herbs and store the flavored syrup in the refrigerator. Some great herbs include:[19]
    • Fresh basil, mint, rosemary, and thyme leaves
    • Fresh or dried lavender flowers
    • Pieces of fresh fruit or berries
    • Lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit zest
    • Vanilla bean pods or cinnamon sticks
    • Peeled and grated ginger root

Tips

  • Prevent your syrup from crystallizing by adding ¼ cup (60 milliliters) corn syrup = prevents sugar from crystallizing.[20]
  • Stop mold and bacteria from developing by adding 1 to 2 ounces (30 to 60 milliliters) vodka.[21]
  • Do not over-cook your syrup, or the sugar will start to caramelize.

Warnings

  • If you choose to make some sugar water for hummingbirds, be aware that you may also end up attracting bees and ants.

Things You'll Need

  • Container or saucepan
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Wooden spoon

Article Info

Categories: Basic Cooking Skills | Water Ice and Sports Drinks