Where is simple syrup in a store?

What is simple syrup?

Simple syrup is a liquid sweetener made from equal parts sugar and water. It is commonly used as a sweetener and mixer in cocktails, coffee drinks, and other beverages. Simple syrup is valued by bartenders and mixologists because the sugar is already dissolved in the water, making it easy to incorporate into drinks. The typical ratio for simple syrup is 1:1, meaning one part granulated sugar dissolved into one part hot water. This results in a syrup with equal sweetness and viscosity. Simple syrup can be bought pre-made, but many prefer to make their own. Homemade simple syrup allows you to control the sweetness level and it contains no preservatives or other additives.

Where can I find simple syrup in a grocery store?

Simple syrup can usually be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores, near other sugar products and baking ingredients. Here are the most common spots to look for it:

  • With maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, and other liquid sweeteners.
  • Near drink mixes like margarita, daiquiri, and bloody mary mixes.
  • Sometimes with coffee add-ins like flavored syrups and sweeteners.
  • Occasionally in the cocktail mixer section, if the store has one.
  • In the spice aisle near vanilla extract and almond extract.
  • With canning/preserving items like pectin and jars.

If your grocery store has a section specifically for bartending or cocktail mixing supplies, check there as well. Simple syrup is a common ingredient used in cocktails. Some stores may even carry it in the liquor department. Check the aisles thoroughly, as simple syrup is sometimes placed in several areas throughout the store. Asking an employee for assistance can help locate it quickly too.

What brands of simple syrup are commonly sold?

There are a few major brands of simple syrup that are widely available:

  • Torani – This is one of the most popular simple syrup brands. They make a few varieties including classic simple syrup, vanilla syrup, and raspberry syrup. Torani syrups are commonly used for coffee drinks.
  • Finest Call – Finest Call makes bartending mixes and ingredients, including simple syrup. Theirs has a neutral flavor and mixes well in cocktails.
  • DaVinci – Another coffeehouse brand that produces flavored and unflavored simple syrups.
  • Monin – Monin is primarily known for flavored syrups but they also make a classic simple syrup.
  • Liber & Co. – Liber & Co. crafts gourmet syrups, including an organic simple syrup.
  • Small Hand Foods – Small Hand Foods makes artisan simple syrups in unique flavors like ginger and lavender.
  • Jack Rudy – Jack Rudy small-batch simple syrup comes in original, vanilla, and cinnamon flavors.
  • Fee Brothers – Fee Brothers is mostly a bar syrup brand but they produce a traditional simple syrup as well.
  • Beaucoup – Beaucoup simple syrups come in convenient squeeze bottles for easy use behind the bar.

The brand you choose may depend on how you plan to use the simple syrup. Coffee drink syrups like Torani and DaVinci work well for sweetening iced coffees, while bartending brands like Finest Call or Jack Rudy are ideal for cocktails. Read the label carefully to ensure you are buying true simple syrup and not just flavored corn syrup.

Where is simple syrup located in natural/health food stores?

In natural food stores and co-ops, simple syrup is typically found in the natural sweetener section:

  • Near other liquid sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, and coconut nectar.
  • Sometimes in the bulk foods section, where you can purchase just the amount you need.
  • In the baking aisle near sugar, flour, spices, and extracts.
  • With the bottled drink mixes and juices.
  • Next to coffee and tea supplies, for use in drinks.
  • Occasionally with the cocktail mixers and bar supplies.

Since people often make their own simple syrup using natural cane sugar, you may need to look around the entire store. Ask at the customer service desk if you are having trouble locating it. Smaller health food markets may not carry as wide of a selection as large supermarkets. You can also find simple syrup at co-ops like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Earth Fare, and Fresh Market in the natural sweetener section.

Where can I find simple syrup in stores like Walmart or Target?

At big box stores like Walmart and Target, simple syrup can be found in the following areas:

  • The baking aisle with sugar, spices, extracts, and other baking items.
  • Sometimes in the juice/drink aisle with cocktail mixes and bloody mary mix.
  • Occasionally in the coffee section near the flavored coffee syrups.
  • In the liquor section if the store sells spirits.
  • Near the sweeteners like maple syrup and honey.
  • With the canning supplies if they carry any.

The selection may be limited to a brand or two. Stores like Walmart often carry Torani since it is a widely available brand. Be sure to check the ingredients list when purchasing simple syrup from big box retailers, as some may contain preservatives or other additives. For a wider variety of brands or larger sizes for bartending, check a liquor store, restaurant supply store, or online retailer.

Where in liquor stores is simple syrup stocked?

When shopping for simple syrup at a liquor store, here are the areas to browse:

  • Near the margarita, daiquiri, and bloody mary mixes.
  • On the same shelf as bitters, cherries, olives, and cocktail accessories.
  • With the vermouth, mixers, and bar tools.
  • Sometimes with the rum or tequila.
  • Occasionally by the vodkas for moscow mule recipes.
  • In liquor stores that also sell gourmet foods, check near the mixers.

Liquor stores aimed at bartenders and mixologists will have the widest selection of simple syrup brands and flavors. Smaller stores may only stock one or two major brands like Finest Call or Jack Rudy. Bars will purchase larger sizes, so look for liter bottles or gallon jugs. Simple syrup is indispensable behind the bar for sweetening and balancing cocktails, so liquor stores are a reliable place to find it.

Should I buy simple syrup or make my own?

There are pros and cons to buying ready-made simple syrup versus making your own at home:

Reasons to buy pre-made simple syrup:

  • Convenient and ready to use out of the bottle.
  • Typically uses filtered or distilled water for a clear syrup.
  • Consistent flavor and sweetness.
  • Longer shelf life than homemade.
  • Flavored varieties available like vanilla, cinnamon, and raspberry.

Reasons to make your own simple syrup:

  • Customize the sweetness level to your taste.
  • Control the ingredients – organic sugar, filtered water, etc.
  • Fresher tasting than store-bought.
  • Cheaper than buying pre-made.
  • Can make flavored versions by adding ingredients.
  • Can easily make a large batch for bartending needs.

So in summary, pre-made simple syrup saves time and effort while homemade allows more customization. Bartenders may prefer to make their own so they can tweak the ratio and flavors as needed. Most home cooks find pre-made simple syrup to be convenient for everyday use. It comes down to personal preference and how you plan to use the simple syrup.

Is simple syrup the same as sugar syrup?

Simple syrup and sugar syrup are essentially the same thing – they refer to a syrup made from sugar dissolved in water. Simple syrup is the more common term used, especially in bartending. The names are interchangeable. Be aware that outside the United States, sugar syrup may refer to “inverted sugar syrup” which is made differently by heating sugar with water and acid. So in the U.S., simple syrup and sugar syrup both mean a 1:1 ratio syrup made by stirring granulated sugar into hot water until dissolved.

Can simple syrup go bad or spoil?

Yes, simple syrup can go bad eventually. The exact shelf life depends on how it is made and stored:

  • Homemade simple syrup lasts 2-3 weeks refrigerated.
  • Store-bought simple syrup lasts 4-6 months refrigerated.
  • Simple syrup keeps 6-12 months if canned using the proper canning method.
  • Basic simple syrup lasts longer than syrups with added flavors or juices.
  • Refrigeration extends the shelf life significantly.

Signs that simple syrup has gone bad include:

  • Mold growing on the surface.
  • Fermented smell like vinegar or alcohol.
  • Cloudy appearance instead of clear.
  • Separation with clear liquid at the top.
  • Crystallized sugar clumps.

For optimal freshness and shelf life, store simple syrup sealed in the refrigerator after opening. Discard if you see any signs of mold or fermentation. For long term storage, simple syrup can be canned using a sterilizing process to keep almost a year.

How long does simple syrup last after being opened?

Once opened, simple syrup will last:

  • 2-4 weeks in the refrigerator if homemade.
  • 4-6 months in the refrigerator if commercially packaged.
  • About 1-2 weeks at room temperature after opening.
  • Up to a year if canned properly using canning methods.

Simple syrup lasts significantly longer in the fridge due to the cool environment slowing bacteria growth. For maximum freshness, transfer any unused simple syrup to an airtight container and refrigerate immediately after opening. Be sure to keep the syrup submerged in liquid, as exposure to air can cause mold. Discard if any odd smells, textures, or discoloration develop. Properly stored, simple syrup retains optimal flavor for 4-6 months in the fridge.

How can you tell if simple syrup has gone bad?

Here are some signs that your opened simple syrup has gone bad and should be discarded:

  • There is mold growing in or on the syrup.
  • It smells strongly like vinegar, alcohol, or rotten fruit.
  • It has a cloudy appearance instead of clear.
  • There is layer separation, with clear liquid at the top.
  • You see small bubbles or foam, indicating fermentation.
  • It tastes distinctly sour rather than sweet.
  • There are grainy sugar crystals clumped in the syrup.
  • It was left unrefrigerated for over 2 weeks.

Always inspect simple syrup before use and do not consume if any of the above warning signs are present. A change in color alone does not necessarily mean it has gone bad, as ingredients like cinnamon or fruit juices can naturally darken the syrup. But if accompanied by other issues like an off smell or texture changes, err on the side of caution and discard the syrup.

Does simple syrup need to be refrigerated?

Refrigeration is recommended for best quality and to extend the shelf life of opened simple syrup. However, some guidelines on refrigerating simple syrup:

  • Unopened simple syrup can be stored in the pantry before opening.
  • Once opened, refrigerate for optimal freshness.
  • If refrigeration is not available, use opened syrup within 1-2 weeks.
  • Homemade simple syrup only lasts about 1 week unrefrigerated.
  • Commercially packaged syrup lasts 2-4 weeks unrefrigerated.
  • Refrigeration prevents mold growth and slows fermentation.
  • Syrup may thicken slightly when chilled but will thin when back at room temperature.

So while refrigeration is not mandatory, it can extend the shelf life of opened simple syrup from a week or two up to several months. Many people keep simple syrup in the refrigerator out of habit. If you go through syrup quickly, you can keep it in the pantry. But monitor it closely for any signs of spoilage like mold or smell changes. Refrigeration is highly recommended if you don’t use it often.

What is the best way to store simple syrup?

Here are some tips for properly storing simple syrup:

  • Keep opened simple syrup bottles tightly sealed in the refrigerator.
  • Transfer to a clean airtight container if the original bottle won’t seal.
  • Make sure the syrup is completely covered by liquid, not exposed to air.
  • Use clean utensils and containers to avoid introducing bacteria.
  • Write the date opened on the bottle for freshness.
  • Store syrups with added flavors separate from plain simple syrup.
  • canned or bottled syrup can be stored in a cool, dark pantry until opened.

Avoid storing simple syrup at room temperature or in the door of the refrigerator where the temperature fluctuates. Heat and cold extremes can speed up syrup spoilage. For bartending use, transfer any remaining syrup to a smaller squeeze bottle for easy pouring. With proper refrigerated storage, simple syrup can retain optimal flavor and freshness for 4-6 months.


Simple syrup is an indispensable ingredient for cocktails, coffee drinks, desserts, and more. Knowing where to find it in stores can save time and hassle. Look in the baking aisle, coffee section, natural sweetener section, or with the cocktail mixers. Major brands like Torani, Finest Call, and Jack Rudy are widely available. While convenient, pre-made simple syrup also has a shorter shelf life. For maximum freshness, homemade simple syrup is best. Refrigerate opened containers and watch for any signs of mold, crystallization, or fermentation over time. Stored properly in the refrigerator, simple syrup can last 4-6 months for ease in sweetening all kinds of beverages.

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