One of the big differentiators between the sweetened coffee drinks that you get at coffee shops and the somewhat underwhelming versions that you attempt to make at home is that the coffee shops use syrup in their drinks.
You want to use syrups in sweetened coffee drinks for a couple of reasons.
First of all, syrups allow you to infuse spices and sugar together, potentiating their flavor and getting rid of that “raw” spice taste that overwhelms milky coffee drinks.
Secondly, sugar does not dissolve that well in water. Therefore if you are making a sweet iced coffee, granulated sugar will simply sink to the bottom rather than sweetening the drink as a whole.
Here we will go through three delicious syrup recipes, so you can easily make them at home.
1. Simple Syrup
This is just your plain sugar syrup. It is perfect to sweeten iced coffees or any drinks where you just want a neutral sweet flavor.
You can also add a small amount of vanilla extract for a quick and easy vanilla syrup.
IngredientsThis will make about enough syrup to sweeten ten coffee drinks.
- 0.5 cups of water
- 3.5 oz of organic coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
How to Make it
Step 1: Put all ingredients together in a saucepan
Step 2: Simmer for 5 minutes on the lowest possible heat. We do not want the sugar to brown at all.
Step 3: Once cooled, decant in a jar and store at room temperature.
If you’re just wanting to make a classic homemade simple syrup recipe, you can use 3.5 oz refined white sugar instead of coconut sugar.
Since white sugar is refined, it tends to result in a better texture in homemade candies and some baked goods. But, since we’re essentially just making a liquefied sugar, coconut sugar works just as well in this recipe.
Plus, the added benefits of coconut sugar are that it’s a natural and unrefined sugar.
That means it comes from a natural, real food source—coconut palm sap—and it hasn’t been as highly processed as traditional refined sugar. Less processing means coconut sugar retains more nutrients, like essential minerals and antioxidants.
2. Caramel Syrup
This caramel syrup is perfect for a Starbucks caramel frappuccino copycat recipe.
It involves making caramel and then watering it down to a consistency that can be easily mixed into a coffee drink.
Please be warned that if you heat up your sugar too quickly it will create a lot of smoke. I would open a window and turn my extractor fan on when doing this just in case the sugar heats up too quickly.
IngredientsThis will make enough for five caramel frappuccinos.
- 7 oz of organic coconut sugar
- 1.2 cups of water
- Pinch of sea salt
How to Make It
Step 1: Put the sugar in a cold saucepan, add a small amount of water and heat it up on as low of a heat as possible. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Step 2: Cook and until sugar begins to caramelize, it will become a dark golden brown color. You can smell the caramelization of the sugar. Be careful to not burn the sugar or it will make the syrup bitter. Stir it until the sugar is dark golden brown all over. You want this color to be as even as possible.
Step 3: When the sugar is dark golden brown add your water. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved in the water.
Step 4: Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up until the syrup is gently bubbling (one or two bubbles at a time) and stir until it has reduced by about 20%. Add the salt while stirring.
Step 5: Let cool and decant into a jar. Store at room temperature.
3. Pumpkin Spice Syrup
This one is a bit more complicated, but is essential for a proper pumpkin spice latte. We recommend using it with Higher Grounds Pumpkin Spice Coffee.
If you try to make a pumpkin spice latte without making the syrup then the raw spice flavor will overpower everything else in the drink.
This will make enough for about five pumpkin spice lattes.
- 2.4 cups of water
- 12 oz of organic coconut sugar
- A quarter of a small pumpkin (you want around 2.6 oz of pumpkin flesh)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons of ground organic Ceylon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon of ground clove
- ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
You will also need a piece of cheesecloth to strain the syrup.
How to Make It
Step 1: Roast your pumpkin in the oven skin side down on 350 Fahrenheit for around half an hour. It should be very soft at this point.
Remove the pumpkin flesh from its skin and blend it in a food processor. If you do not have a food processor then you can mash it with a fork.
Step 2: Put the water and the coconut sugar in a saucepan and simmer it on the lowest heat for about five minutes.
You know it’s done when all the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is noticeably thicker than water but still very runny.
Step 3: Put the pureed pumpkin, spices and vanilla extract in the syrup, simmer for another ten minutes while stirring every now and then. The syrup will be quite thick, bright orange and very gritty at this point.
Step 4: Let the syrup cool to the point where you will not burn yourself if it spills on you and then pour it through your cheesecloth into a bowl.
Only about a quarter of the thick, gritty syrup will not pass through the cheesecloth, leaving you with a thin, glossy and beautifully orange-brown syrup at the end.
We hope you will have fun with these delicious syrup recipes. For more recipes, please visit our Recipe Blog.