6 Substitutes For Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is a key ingredient in all sorts of cocktails and other drinks.

This basic mix of sugar and water helps soften the sharpness of alcohol and add a hint of sweetness to a drink, and it is as simple as it gets when it comes to making your own at home.

However, if you’re all out of simple syrup (or just don’t want to use it), then you’ll need to find an alternative.

6 Substitutes For Simple Syrup

Luckily, there are several great substitutes for simple syrup that put their own unique spin on this basic ingredient, and are even better than the original! 

So let’s get started, shall we?

Substitutes For Simple Syrup

1. Honey


One of the best replacements for simple syrup is honey. This sugary liquid is incredibly similar to simple syrup, but with a delicious taste that sets it apart from other substitutes.

The rich, floral flavor makes it a great addition to all sorts of drinks, where it adds a bit of depth and complexity to the cocktail instead of just making it sweeter.

Honey is also a healthier alternative to simple syrup, and can come in a range of different flavors. Whatever you’re drinking, there’s a type of honey for it!

2. Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup (see also ‘8 Maple Syrup Alternatives‘) is another closely similar alternative to simple syrup. It’s also similar to honey (see also ‘6 Substitutes To Use Instead Of Honey‘), but it has a slightly earthy, smoked flavor to it that adds a fantastic layer of flavor to a cocktail or coffee.

Because of its similarities to simple syrup, you can easily use maple syrup as a 1:1 substitute that packs some tasty flavors and doesn’t need to be diluted!

3. Agave Nectar

Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is one of the most common substitutes for sugar and among the most popular natural sweeteners out there. As a result, it’s no surprise that agave nectar is a great alternative to simple syrup in cocktails.

Unlike other substitutes on this list, agave nectar doesn’t have a distinct taste and has a blandness that makes it a good option if you want your substitute to be innocuous in a drink.

In fact, agave nectar is so similar to simple syrup that it makes the perfect 1:1 replacement with the added bonus of not needing to be diluted.

4. Cane Syrup

Cane Syrup

Cane syrup is a less refined version of sugar derived from the juices of the sugar cane plant. Similar to molasses, cane syrup is known for its darker color and richer sweetness.

Because of its slight bitterness and stronger flavor, cane syrup isn’t the most popular simple syrup substitute out there; however, it’s a great choice if you like the taste.

5. Stevia Syrup

Stevia Syrup

Looking for a sugar-free sweetener for your cocktail? Then this syrup, made with the artificial sweetener Stevia, is just what you need. 

Stevia is 100% plant-based and is a healthy alternative to the other sugary syrups on this list. Its bland taste makes it a good replacement for simple syrup if you’re making a sugar-free cocktail.

6. Refined Sugar

Refined Sugar

Why even use syrup in the first place? Regular granulated sugar can be just as good an option!

Refined and ground white sugar works best here, although you can also use fine brown sugar if you want a deeper taste.

Bear in mind that simple syrup dilutes its sugar content with water, so you won’t need as much refined sugar to get the same effect.

This is a particularly effective substitute if you’re drinking a cocktail made in a cocktail shaker. This helps the sugar to fully dissolve into the drink far faster than stirring.

Refined sugar has a sharper hit of sweetness compared to simple syrup, which is softened by the water component.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it – 6 of the best substitutes for simple syrup out there!

This handy ingredient is incredibly useful for a home bar or even just a simple evening cocktail, and these alternatives all deliver the same sweetness as simple syrup (and even some great flavors of their own!).

All of these substitutes are great options, so feel free to give them all a try to find the one you like best. Enjoy!

6 Substitutes For Simple Syrup

6 Substitutes For Simple Syrup

Recipe by Jenna

Simple syrup is a key ingredient in many cocktails, but there are many things you can swap it out for. This list looks at 6 substitutes for simple syrup

Course: Substitutes
0 from 0 votes


  • Honey

  • Maple Syrup

  • Cane Syrup

  • Stevia Syrup

  • Refined Sugar

  • Agave Nectar


  • Decided on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy

Recipe Video

Follow Me
Latest posts by Jenna (see all)