Ginger Syrup

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Ginger syrup in a glass pitcher, in front a mojito, with a piece of ginger in front
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Styling: Kristina Vanni

I love that ginger is a bit of a chameleon, offering its spicy-yet-refreshing bite to savory stir-fries as well as being a warm spice in sweets like gingerbread. When steeped in hot sugar water, ginger lets out its flavor and leaves behind a super-versatile syrup that you can use in cocktails or anywhere else you use simple syrup. Homemade ginger syrup is a great way to use up an excess of ginger, it’s easy to make, and it has a long shelf life.

A lot of ginger syrup recipes have you simmer sliced ginger, sugar, and water on the stovetop, requiring you to stay in the kitchen to monitor it. I’ve found that simply grating peeled ginger on the large holes of a box grater right into the saucepan breaks it down enough that you can just bring the ginger, sugar, and water to a boil and then turn the heat off. While the ginger steeps in the hot liquid, you can walk away and forget about it. Strain out the ginger once the syrup cools and you’re left with a spicy-sweet, thoroughly ginger-y syrup.

Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Styling: Kristina Vanni

How Long Does Homemade Ginger Syrup Last?

Once made, homemade ginger syrup can be refrigerated for up to two weeks or frozen for up to two months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator if frozen.

What Do You Use Ginger Syrup For?

Ginger syrup can be used pretty much anywhere where you would use simple syrup but want a more flavorful, lightly spicy kick. Here are a couple of my favorite ways.

  • In mojitos, French 75s, or other cocktails.
  • Mixed with sparkling water and fresh mint for a refreshing spritzer.
  • Tossed with cut fruit for a gingery fruit salad.
  • Stirred into hot tea.
  • As a poaching liquid for pears or apples.
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Ginger Syrup Recipe

This spicy-sweet syrup is perfect for cocktails, mocktails, or even drizzling over fruit salad.

YieldMakes about 1 1/2 cups

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 7 minutes


  • 4 ounces

    ginger (about 4 inches)

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 cup



  1. Peel and grate 4 ounces ginger on the large holes of a box grater until you have 1/3 packed cup. Place in a small saucepan and add 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let sit until cooled to room temperature, about 1 hour.

  2. Fit a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Pour the syrup through the strainer and press on the solids to extract as much syrup as possible. Discard the solids.

  3. Refrigerate the syrup in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

Christine Gallary

Food Editor-at-Large

Christine graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, and she has worked at Cook's Illustrated and She lives in San Francisco and loves teaching cooking classes. Follow her latest culinary escapades on Instagram.

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