Elevate Your Cocktails with Homemade Smoked Simple Syrup

How to Make Smoked Simple Syrup: Elevate Your Cocktails With A Rich, Smoky Twist

Simple syrup is a versatile ingredient used to sweeten a variety of beverages and desserts. But if you’re looking to take your cocktail game to the next level, consider making smoked simple syrup. The combination of smoky and sweet flavors adds a unique twist to your favorite drinks. In this article, we will walk you through the process of making smoked simple syrup at home, discuss its uses, and provide some flavor variations for you to experiment with.

Understanding Smoked Simple Syrup

Before we get into the details of making smoked simple syrup, let’s first define what simple syrup is. Simple syrup, also known as sugar syrup, is a mixture of water and sugar that is commonly used as a sweetener in cocktails, iced beverages, sodas, and other drinks. Unlike regular granulated sugar, simple syrup is in liquid form, which makes it easier to incorporate into cold beverages because it dissolves quickly.
While simple syrup is most commonly used in beverages, it can also be used to sweeten desserts and baked goods or as a glaze. You can find simple syrup in supermarkets or buy it online, but it’s incredibly easy to make at home with just two basic ingredients.
Let’s move on to smoked simple syrup. As the name suggests, smoked simple syrup is regular simple syrup that has been imbued with a smoky flavor using a smoker. The process of making smoked simple syrup involves smoking a mixture of water and sugar, creating a rich and complex flavor that pairs well with a variety of flavors.

Making Smoked Simple Syrup

Making smoked simple syrup is a simple process that you can easily do at home. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:


– Simple Syrup Water
– One tablespoon sugar


1. Preheat your smoker to 180°F (82°C).
2. While the smoker is heating, take a large baking pan and combine cold water and granulated sugar in a 1:1 ratio.
3. Whisk the mixture briefly.
4. When the smoker reaches the desired temperature, place the baking pan in the smoker and let it smoke for 2 to 2½ hours.
5. Whisk the syrup every 30 minutes to ensure the sugar dissolves and evenly absorbs the smoky flavor.
6. When smoking is complete, remove the pan from the smoker and allow to cool.
7. When the syrup has reached room temperature, strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove any ash or smoke residue.
8. Pour the smoked simple syrup into an airtight container for storage.
9. You can now use the smoked simple syrup to add a smoky flavor to your cocktails and other beverages.
– Use cold water for the syrup as it will hold the smoke better.
– If the sugar isn’t completely dissolved when it goes into the smoker, don’t worry. The heat from the smoker will help melt and dissolve the sugar with the water.
– Feel free to experiment with different types of wood pellets or sweeteners to create unique flavors.

Variations on Smoked Simple Syrup

One of the exciting aspects of smoked simple syrup is the ability to customize its flavor profile by incorporating different ingredients during the smoking or cooling process. Here are some popular flavor variations to try:

Ginger Smoked Simple Syrup:

– Add 1 cup of sliced fresh ginger to the syrup during the smoking process. Strain before storing.

Vanilla Smoked Simple Syrup:

– Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the syrup after it has cooled.

Mint Smoked Simple Syrup:

– Add 1 cup fresh, coarsely chopped mint leaves to the syrup while smoking. Strain before storing.

Spiced Smoked Simple Syrup:

– Add a few whole cloves and 2 cinnamon sticks to the syrup before smoking. Strain before storing.

Other flavor infusers may include:

– Basil, rosemary and sage
– Orange or lemon
– Jalapeno Slices

Choosing sweeteners and wood pellets

While traditional simple syrup is typically made with white sugar, you can experiment with different sweeteners to create unique flavors. Consider the following options:

  • Brown Sugar: Using brown sugar instead of white sugar creates a darker smoked simple syrup with a deeper, molasses-like flavor.
  • Natural Sweeteners: Agave, maple syrup, and honey can be used as alternatives to white sugar. When using honey, the ratio is ½ cup for 1 cup of water. Maple syrup adds a distinct flavor but can dominate the taste, so use sparingly. Allulose is a low-calorie sweetener that can be used in place of sugar.

When it comes to choosing wood pellets for smoking, you have a number of options that can add different flavors to your syrup. Some popular choices include

  • Mesquite: Provides a strong and robust smoky flavor.
  • Cherry: Adds a slightly sweet and fruity note to the syrup.
  • Apple: Provides a subtle and mild smoky flavor with a hint of sweetness.
  • Hickory: Provides a strong, bacon-like smoky flavor.
  • Oak: Provides a smooth and well-rounded smoky flavor.

Feel free to experiment with different combinations of sweeteners and wood pellets to create your preferred flavor profile.

Using Smoked Simple Syrup

Once you have prepared your smoked simple syrup, you can use it to enhance a variety of beverages and cocktails. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Smoky Old Fashioned: Add a dash of smoked simple syrup to your classic Old Fashioned cocktail for a smoky twist.
  • Smoked Margarita: Mix smoked simple syrup with tequila, lime juice and a splash of orange liqueur for a unique twist on the traditional margarita.
  • Smoky Mojito: Replace regular simple syrup in a mojito with smoked simple syrup for a refreshing and smoky twist.
  • Smoked Lemonade: Combine smoked simple syrup with freshly squeezed lemon juice and sparkling water for a refreshing and tangy drink.
  • Smoky Whiskey Sour: Add smoked simple syrup to a whiskey sour for a complex and smoky flavor profile.

These are just a few examples, but feel free to experiment and get creative with your smoked simple syrup. It can also be used to sweeten iced tea, coffee, or as a glaze for grilled meats and vegetables.

Bottom Line

Making smoked simple syrup is an easy and rewarding process that can take your cocktails and drinks to new heights. By infusing the syrup with a smoky flavor, you add a unique twist that tantalizes the taste buds. Whether you prefer classic combinations or want to experiment with different flavor variations, smoked simple syrup offers versatility and endless possibilities. So grab your smoker, gather your ingredients, and embark on a journey to create your own signature smoky concoctions. Cheers!


Can I make smoked simple syrup without a smoker?

Yes, you can still get a smoky flavor in your syrup even if you don’t have a smoker. You can use liquid smoke or smoked sea salt as an alternative. Simply add a few drops of liquid smoke or a pinch of smoked sea salt to your simple syrup mixture before heating. Adjust the amount to taste.

How long does smoked simple syrup keep?

When stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, smoked simple syrup will keep for up to one month. Be sure to strain the syrup properly to remove any ash or smoke residue before storing.

Can I use flavored wood pellets to smoke the syrup?

Yes, you can experiment with different flavored wood pellets to add unique and distinct flavors to your smoked simple syrup. Popular choices include cherry, apple, mesquite, hickory and oak. Each type of wood pellet will add its own character to the syrup, so feel free to try different combinations.

Can I use alternative sweeteners in place of sugar?

Absolutely! While traditional simple syrup is made with white granulated sugar, you can substitute other sweeteners such as brown sugar, agave, maple syrup, honey, or allulose. Keep in mind that each sweetener adds its own flavor profile to the syrup, so adjust the amounts accordingly.

What are some creative ways to use smoked simple syrup?

In addition to enhancing cocktails, smoked simple syrup can be used in a variety of culinary creations. Use it as a glaze for grilled meats and vegetables, drizzle it over pancakes or waffles, incorporate it into marinades or barbecue sauces, or add a smoky twist to your homemade ice cream or sorbets.

Can I adjust the smokiness of the syrup?

Yes, you can control the intensity of the smoky flavor in your syrup. If you prefer a milder smoky flavor, reduce the smoking time or use fewer wood pellets. On the other hand, if you want a stronger smoky flavor, increase the smoking time or the amount of wood pellets. Adjust the smoking process to your personal preference.