Orange Simple Syrup, the perfect homemade orange-infused simple syrup to add vibrant fresh-squeezed flavor to iced beverages, cocktails and baked goods!
The best thirst-quencher on a hot day is iced, sweet and loaded with fruit -flavor. This homemade orange-flavored simple syrup is the perfect way to sweeten and add bright orange flavor to your favorite summertime drinks in a cinch!
But this sweet and delicious syrup is also wonderful in cocktails, smoothies, drizzled over sweet treats and so much more. That said, this recipe makes about a cup of orange simple syrup, so you’ll have plenty of yummy ways to use it. Enjoy!
👉 Here’s why you should be making simple syrup with orange juice:
- Quick and easy. Only four ingredients and it takes just 15 minutes to make.
- Bursting with citrus flavor. It is perfect for adding sweet orange flavor to beverages and cocktails.
- Great for baking to add moisture and flavor to cakes and baked goods.
Read to learn how to make it? Let’s do it!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Water (filtered or distilled): When sugar is dissolved in water, it thickens into a sweet syrup. For the best tasting syrup, use filtered or distilled water.
- Orange Juice: 100% orange juice with no pulp is best. We used bottled orange, but you can also use fresh-squeezed as well.
- Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar has super fine granules, so it dissolves quickly in boiling water compared to other types of sugar.
- Oranges (bright orange peel only): The flavorful oils and flavors from the peel get released into the syrup when boiled.
👉 Recommended tools: We recommend using a small saucepan with a pour spout for making simple syrups. Airtight syrup jars are also key for storing your syrups safely.
📖 How to Make (step-by-step photos)
1️⃣ Step One: Bring to a boil and dissolve sugar
In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, add water, orange juice, sugar and orange peels. Bring the liquid to a boil and let the ingredients boil together, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves (5 to 10 minutes).
2️⃣ Step Two: Remove from heat and let cool
Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool.
4️⃣ Step Four: Store and refrigerate
Once cooled, strain out the peels and transfer syrup to a sanitized glass jar. Store in the refrigerate.
❓Questions + quick tips
Using fresh juice and fresh peels achieves fresh squeezed orange flavor, However, you can use orange extract instead to make an orange flavored syrup. For every cup of simple syrup made with a 1:1 sugar to water ratio, add 1 teaspoon of orange extract.
We recommend using pulp-free 100% orange juice, so there’s no need to strain any pulp from the syrup. However, you can absolutely use freshly squeezed juice. You’ll just need to stain out as much as of the pulp as possible with a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth.
Orange simple syrup, in particular, will have a yellow tint to it from the orange juice. Also, as the sugar, orange juice, and orange peels boil together they will begin to caramelize, giving the syrup a deeper color.
Use leftover orange syrup to flavor iced or hot tea, smeared on toast like jam, as a sweetener in salad dressings, drizzled over waffles or pancakes, etc.
For a deeper, caramelized flavor simple syrup swap the granulated sugar for brown sugar.
Want to spruce up this syrup? Here are a few ideas:
- 👉 2:1 Orange Simple Syrup: To make a sweeter syrup, simply double the sugar to about 2 and a 1/4 cups.
- 👉 Add some warming spice: Add some warming spices like star anise cinnamon or nutmeg while the syrup is boiling.
🍹 How to use it
This syrup is a fantastic flavor enhancer to have on hand for drinks, desserts and so much more. Here are some other ways to use it:
- Add to hot or iced tea or coffee for a burst of orange flavor.
- Use in cocktails like margaritas, orange crushes, old fashioned and cosmos.
- Emulsify into salad dressings to add sweet orange flavor.
- Smear between cake layers for flavor, moisture and to keep the layers in place.
- Drizzle over breakfast foods like muffins, pancakes, waffles, croissants, etc.
♻️ How to Store
Before storing, let simple cool completely to room temperature. Also, be sure to use sanitized jars to prevent bacteria growth.
Refrigerator Storage: This orange simple syrup recipe is made with a 1:1 sugar to liquid ratio that has a shelf-life of 1 month when stored in a glass airtight bottle in the refrigerator.
Freezer Storage: You can freeze simple syrup safely for up to a year. A simple syrup with a 1:1 sugar to liquid ratio will most likely freeze solid but with more sugar, the syrup may not freeze completely. Freeze in small plastic containers or ice cube trays.
🥄 More fruit simple syrup recipes
Looking for more homemade flavored simple syrups? Look no further:
- Blueberry Simple Syrup
- Pineapple Ginger Syrup (Starbucks Copycat)
- Lemon Ginger-Infused Simple Syrup
- Pear-Infused Simple Syrup
- Watermelon Simple Syrup
- Raspberry Simple Syrup
Orange Simple Syrup
- 4 ounces water or ½ cup
- 4 ounces orange juice or ½ cup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 pieces orange peel from 1 orange
- Add water, orange, sugar, and orange peels to a small saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Then reduce heat and let simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat and let cool. Then pour the orange simple syrup into an airtight glass jar and use in hot drinks, cocktails, smoothies, or baking.
- To store syrup, pour into an airtight jar and store at room temperature for up to one month, or up to three months in the refrigerator.