A jar and bottle both filled with lemon syrup, sitting on a wooden board.
0 from 0 votes

Lemon Simple Syrup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 serves
Calories: 69kcal
Author: Marie Roffey
This Lemon Simple Syrup recipe is easy to make and bursting with tangy, lemon flavour. Just 2 ingredients and you can have fresh homemade lemon syrup for pancakes, cocktails, lemonade, for cake – the options are endless.
Course: Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine: American, Australian, English, World
Keyword: homemade lemon syrup, lemon simple syrup, lemon syrup


  • 6-8 lemons
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar


  • Use a peeler to peel just the yellow part of the skin from one lemon, not the white part (notes).
  • Juice enough lemons to reach one cup of strained lemon juice.
  • Add the peel of one lemon, the one cup of lemon juice and the cup of sugar to a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat.
  • Bring the mixture slowly to a boil, while stirring, to dissolve the sugar. Let it boil away, stirring only every now and then, until thickened and reduced by about half. The bubbles at this point should look big and foamy and the colour of the syrup will be a deep golden yellow (or pale honey colour). The consistency will be similar to maple syrup once it cools to room temperature.
  • Strain the peel out of the syrup, then pour into sterilised bottles.


Equipment used: heavy based saucepan, Weck preserving jars
  1. The white part of the lemon peel is bitter, so try to leave that behind and only get the yellow part.
  2. You only need the peel of one lemon for this recipe but you can go ahead and zest all the lemons like this or with a microplane, then freeze the rest for use in other dishes (add to the cavity of roast chicken for instance or fine zest is lovely added to cakes).
  3. The lemon juice will keep for months stored in sterilised bottles, but once a bottle is opened, try to use it within a couple of weeks.
  4. For a lighter flavour, replace some of the lemon juice in the recipe with water, then continue as per the recipe.
  5. For a thinner consistency, add a little water.
  6. Don't use this straight from the stove but it can be served warm or room temperature.