How do you make syrup out of fruit?

Fruit syrups are a delicious way to add flavor to drinks, desserts, and more. Making your own fruit syrup at home is easy and allows you to control the ingredients. With just a few simple steps, you can turn fresh or frozen fruit into a tasty syrup in no time.

What is Fruit Syrup?

Fruit syrup is a concentrated, sweetened juice made from fruit. It has a thick, viscous consistency similar to molasses or honey. The natural sugars in the fruit are extracted and concentrated through heating or simmering the fruit. Additional sugar is usually added to balance and enhance the fruit flavor. The syrup is then strained to remove pulp, seeds, or skin.

Fruit syrups are shelf-stable and can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. They are used to sweeten and add flavor to drinks like lemonade, cocktails, coffee, and tea. Syrups are also delicious drizzled over pancakes, waffles, ice cream, and other desserts. They can be used in baking recipes as well.

Benefits of Making Your Own Syrup

Here are some of the benefits of making homemade fruit syrup:

  • Customizable flavors – You can tailor the syrup to your taste preferences by choosing your favorite fruits.
  • Control the ingredients – You can avoid unwanted additives like preservatives, colors, and artificial flavors.
  • Economical – Homemade syrup costs a fraction of retail prices.
  • Fun project – Syrup making is an enjoyable kitchen project.
  • Makes great gifts – Syrups make unique food gifts for others.

Tips for Making Fruit Syrup

Follow these tips for best results when making homemade fruit syrup:

  • Use ripe, fresh fruit for optimal flavor. Frozen fruit also works well.
  • Wash, peel, core, seed, and chop the fruit into small pieces before cooking.
  • Add sugar and a small amount of water or juice to help draw out the fruit juices.
  • Gently simmer the fruit mixture until soft and broken down.
  • Strain the syrup through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
  • Store in clean glass bottles or jars in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
  • For longer storage, can or freeze the syrup in batches.

Equipment Needed

You don’t need any fancy equipment to make basic fruit syrup. Here is the essential gear:

  • Pot – A medium to large pot with a heavy bottom works best. Choose stainless steel or enameled cast iron.
  • Wooden spoon – Use a long handled spoon to stir the syrup as it cooks.
  • Mesh strainer – Helpful for straining out fruit solids and pulp.
  • Cheesecloth – Use to finely filter the syrup for a clear end product.
  • Jars or bottles – Mason jars or glass bottles to store the finished syrup.
  • Funnel – Makes it easy to transfer syrup into storage containers.
  • Labels – Use stickers or markers to label your syrup jars.

Optional items include a potato masher to crush fruit, a blender to puree cooked fruit, and a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature while cooking.

Choosing the Fruit

Almost any fruit can be transformed into a delicious syrup. Try these popular options:

  • Berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries
  • Stone fruits – cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots
  • Tropical fruits – mangoes, pineapples, bananas
  • Citrus fruits – oranges, grapefruits, clementines, lemons
  • Pome fruits – apples, pears, quince
  • Melons – honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon
  • Other fruits – figs, grapes, cranberries, persimmons

Choose ripe, sweet fruit that is flavorful when raw. Under ripe fruit can taste sour or starchy in syrup form. Combining fruits can create unique flavor fusions like peach-raspberry or mango-lime syrup. Herbs, spices, vanilla, and citrus zest can also be added to complement the fruit flavor.

Choosing a Sugar

Sugar helps extract juices from the fruit, balances tartness, and preserves the syrup. Granulated white sugar is most common. For a refined sugar-free syrup, try coconut sugar, maple syrup, agave, or honey. Here are sugar options to consider:

  • Granulated white sugar – Most traditional choice, offers neutral flavor.
  • Brown sugar – Adds a slight molasses flavor.
  • Coconut sugar – Mineral-rich alternative with caramel notes.
  • Maple syrup – Delicious in maple-flavored fruit syrups.
  • Honey – Choose a mild honey that complements the fruit.
  • Agave – Sweeter than sugar, works well in citrus or tropical fruit syrups.

Use 1 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar per 2 to 4 cups of chopped fruit as a general guideline. Taste and adjust sugar to taste. For a lower sugar syrup, start with less and add more to taste.

Basic Fruit Syrup Recipe

This easy method works for most fruits. Refer to recipe notes for tips on specific fruits.


  • 4 cups chopped fruit
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water


  1. Rinse, peel, core and chop fruit into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a medium pot.
  2. Add sugar and water. Stir to dissolve sugar.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until fruit is very soft.
  4. Remove from heat. Mash fruit with a potato masher or blend until smooth.
  5. Pour through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Press and squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible.
  6. Discard strained solids. Pour syrup into a glass jar or bottle.
  7. Allow to cool, then refrigerate. Syrup will keep for 4 weeks refrigerated.
  8. Notes

    • For berries – Use a gentle hand when mashing to keep some whole berries in syrup.
    • For grapes – Simmer grapes with a cinnamon stick and/or a split vanilla bean.
    • For stone fruit – Add a sprig of fresh rosemary or lavender while simmering.
    • For apples/pears – Adding a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice helps brighten the flavor.
    • For tropical fruit – Add 1-2 tablespoons rum or coconut liqueur if desired.

    No-Cook Fruit Syrup

    For a quick no-cook version, try this blender method:


    • 2 cups chopped fruit
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup water


    1. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until completely smooth.
    2. Pour through a mesh strainer to remove any solids.
    3. Bottle and refrigerate syrup. Keeps for 2 weeks.

    This works best with ripe juicy fruit like berries, stone fruit, or tropical fruit. Some syrup separation may occur – just shake before using.

    Making Fruit Syrup Without Added Sugar

    It is possible to make fruit syrup without adding any extra sugars. Here are some options:

    • Use very ripe, sweet fruit that is naturally high in sugar like mangos, grapes, cherries, or strawberries.
    • Replace the granulated sugar with 1 cup of maple syrup or honey.
    • Sweeten to taste with stevia or monk fruit sweetener.
    • Accept that the syrup will have a less concentrated, lighter sweetness.
    • Combine fruits like apples and berries – the berries provide sweetness.
    • Add only 1/2 cup sugar for a lightly sweetened syrup.

    Sugar-free fruit syrup won’t keep as long – plan to store for up to 2 weeks. The texture may be thinner as well. Adding a splash of alcohol like vodka, rum, kirsch, or framboise can help inhibit spoilage.

    Troubleshooting Fruit Syrup

    Use these tips if your fruit syrup doesn’t turn out quite right:

    • Not sweet enough? – Simmer a bit longer to concentrate flavors and sweetness. Or add more sugar to taste.
    • Too thin? – Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes longer until reduced and thickened.
    • Cloudy syrup? – Strain through a coffee filter for clarified syrup.
    • Fermented flavor? – Use syrup within 5 days if not refrigerated immediately.
    • Burnt flavor? – Try lower heat setting next time. Stir constantly near end of cooking.
    • Not flavorful? – Use riper fruit and less water next time.

    How to Use Fruit Syrup

    Homemade fruit syrup shines in both sweet and savory uses. Here are some tasty ways to use your syrup:

    • Pancakes and waffles – Drizzle on or use in batter for flavorful flapjacks.
    • Yogurt and oatmeal – Swirl into plain yogurt or stir a tablespoon into oats.
    • Cocktails – Sweeten drinks like lemonade or mix into adult beverages.
    • Smoothies – Add a tablespoon or two to fruit or protein smoothies.
    • Salad dressings – Whisk syrup into vinaigrettes and drizzle over greens or fruit salads.
    • Glazes for meat – Brush onto chicken, pork, or salmon before roasting or grilling.
    • Dessert topping – Drizzle over cakes, ice cream, pies, and cheesecake.
    • Baking – Use in place of sugar or honey in recipes for cookies, muffins, and cakes.

    Fruit syrup can be substituted 1:1 for maple syrup, honey, or granulated sugar in most recipes. Get creative with your own specialty syrup creations!

    Storing Fruit Syrup

    Properly stored fruit syrup will maintain its flavor for several weeks. Here are some storage tips:

    • Refrigerate syrup for up to 4 weeks – keep tightly sealed.
    • For longer storage, freeze syrup in freezer-safe jars for 4-6 months.
    • Sterilized jars allow for storage at room temperature for up to 1 month.
    • If mold appears, discard syrup – do not consume.
    • If syrup starts to ferment, discard – do not consume.
    • For short term use, store in squeeze bottles in the refrigerator.

    As with any homemade recipe containing fruit and sugar, proper sanitization techniques should be followed. Only refrigerate after syrup has completely cooled.

    Fruit Syrup Recipes

    Here are some delicious fruit syrup recipes to try at home:

    Strawberry Syrup

    An easy berry syrup for shortcakes or yogurt.

    • 2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup water

    Peach Ginger Syrup

    Wonderful drizzled over waffles or ice cream.

    • 4 ripe peaches, pitted and chopped
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

    Blueberry Lime Syrup

    Try this over pancakes, mixed into lemonade, or splashed into cocktails.

    • 2 cups blueberries
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
    • Zest of 1 lime

    Cinnamon Apple Syrup

    Delicious on waffles, french toast, or oatmeal.

    • 4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

    Mango Habanero Syrup

    For an addictive spicy-sweet syrup over grilled chicken or fish.

    • 2 ripe mangos, peeled, pitted and diced
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 habanero chili, seeded and minced

    Get creative with your own fruit syrup flavors! Nearly any combination of fruits, herbs, spices, citrus, vanilla, ginger, and more can be transformed into a tasty homemade syrup.


    Making fruit syrup at home opens up a world of sweet and savory possibilities. With minimal time and effort, you can create customized syrups to enhance drinks, desserts, yogurt, oatmeal, cocktails, and more. While fruit and sugar are the base, spices, herbs, juices, and liquors can add unique twists. Set aside an afternoon to simmer up a batch of syrup and tap into your inner mixologist – your pancakes and cocktails will thank you!

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