Once fall hits, we want apple flavored everything! This easy-to-make homemade Apple Simple Syrup is made with fresh apples and brown sugar and can be used to flavor everything from cocktails and soda to oatmeal, ice cream, cakes, and more.
It's officially apple season and I am here for it! Whether I'm eating them in a dessert or in a drink or simple grabbing one out of the fridge, I believe that I truly do eat an apple a day in the fall.
And now I'm showing you a way to make packing apple flavor into your drinks even easier.
You'll want to add this easy apple simple syrup to all of your fall cocktails. Plus, it has a ton of other uses I'll share with you in this post!
If you want a different kind of fall-inspired syrup, try my pumpkin spice syrup instead!
What is Simple Syrup?
Simple syrup is essentially just water and sugar simmered together to form a syrup. You can add pretty much any ingredient to the water and sugar to flavor your syrup (seriously, I've even used bubblegum!).
Simple syrup has a lot of uses, but the most common one is to add sweetener and flavor to cocktails in an easy way. Pretty much every bar will have a bottle of simple syrup behind it. And the best ones will have a couple flavors, too!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
I have a lot of favorite simple syrups, but there's not much that compares to an apple simple syrup in the autumn.
This uses brown sugar (I typically make my simple syrups with granulated sugar), so it has an almost caramel-like flavor to it.
Keeping a jar in your fridge in the fall means that you can have an apple cocktail, coffee, tea, etc. any time you want. It's also pretty fabulous for drizzling over oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast or ice cream for dessert.
I even use it to my my own copycat version of Starbucks' Apple Crisp Macchiato.
What Kind of Apples to Use
I highly recommend using sweet apples to make this apple syrup. This chart shows you what the sweetest apples are in case you're curious...
When I make this syrup, I generally use Honeycrisp because they're my favorites, but other sweet apples include Fuji, Gala, Ambrosia, Juici, Snapdragon, and Red Delicious.
A sweeter apple will obviously make a sweeter simple syrup and the sugars will also help thicken the syrup more.
The ingredients in this syrup are very simple (hence the name!). Here's everything you need:
- Brown Sugar
You can use either dark or light brown sugar, but I think dark is best since it adds to the yummy caramel flavor.
This recipe calls for two apples because I wanted to really pack in the apple flavor and to make sure it shines through the brown sugar flavor, but if you only have one apple, this syrup would still be delicious!
How to Make Apple Simple Syrup
Like most simple syrups, this apple version is incredibly easy.
To start, put sugar, water, sliced apples, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and bring mixture to a boil.
Once boiling, lower heat and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until mixture has thickened and apples have softened.
Strain mixture into a bowl, being sure to press down on the apples with a wooden spoon or spatula in order to extract as much juice as possible.
Keep syrup in bowl or pour into a mason jar and place in fridge to cool completely before using.
Syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.
Now you're ready to fully dive into apple season by using this apple simple syrup on everything!
How to Use
A lot of people only think about cocktails when they think of simple syrups. And while a good syrup will certainly make an awesome cocktail, there's so much more that you can do with them!
Here are some of my favorite ideas for what you can do with apple simple syrup:
- Apple Sangria (you can use this recipe and swap the pears out for apples)
- Apple Margaritas
- Homemade Apple Soda: Kids will love this seasonal treat. Just mix apple simple syrup with sparkling water and you'll have your own homemade apple soda.
- Coffee or Tea Flavoring: I make a Starbucks copycat Apple Crisp Macchiato with this syrup, but you could also simple use it to flavor coffee or tea.
- Salad Dressing Ingredient: An apple-based salad dressing would be delicious on a kale salad (you could replace the pears with apples in this one).
- Oatmeal or Yogurt Topping: Drizzling a little of this syrup over oatmeal or yogurt will start your day off in the sweetest way!
- Ice Cream Topping: You could transform a simple vanilla ice cream with this apple syrup. Or you could use it to top my apple pie ice cream.
- Pancake or Waffle Topping: If you want to switch things up from your usual maple syrup, try apple syrup instead.
- Cake Moistener: Lots of people brush simple syrup on cakes after they cool to make cakes extra moist. Flavored simple syrup will also add flavor to the cake and this apple version would be delicious on a vanilla cake, but would also work with coffee cakes or other spiced cakes.
- Cocktail Rimmer: I always keep simple syrup in my fridge to use when I'm garnishing my cocktail rims. Brush a little bit of this syrup on the rim of a cocktail glass and you can easily adhere sugar to the rim for all kinds of fun cocktails.
- Meat Marinade: Give your steak or chicken some fall flavor with an apple marinade using this simple syrup
- Glaze: In addition to a marinade, you could use this syrup as a glaze on meat. It would be perfect on my apple spice glazed ham.
I could keep going because I have a million ideas for how I want to use this syrup, but I think you get the point!
Variations on Recipe
I love the way this apple simple syrup tastes as is, but there are a few adjustments you can easily make based on what you like and what you have available.
Here are a few ideas:
- If you only have granulated sugar, you can still make this; it just won't have as much of a rich caramel taste. But it will still have that delicious apple flavor!
- Add more cinnamon for extra flavor. Or leave it out if you prefer to let the apple shine.
- Add a few slices of fresh ginger (apple and ginger make for a wonderful combination).
- Add more seasonal spices, like all-spice or ground cloves, ginger, or nutmeg.
- Add a vanilla bean.
- Add honey.
How to Store
You should always store your simple syrups in the fridge in an airtight container. When stored properly, the syrup should stay fresh for at least a month.
I like to store syrup in these 16 oz. mason jars. You can even get lids with spouts for them to make pouring easy.
How to Make More
If you're making a big batch cocktail for a party or just want to have extra syrup on hand (who doesn't?), you can easily double or triple this recipe.
Since the syrup uses a 1:1 water and sugar ratio, it's very easy to increase as you see fit.
If you want to double this recipe, use 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar, along with 4 sliced apples. If you only have 2 or 3 sliced apples, this syrup will still be delicious. I just like to pack in extra apple flavor!
Where to Buy
Of course, I think you should make this apple simple syrup from scratch! But I totally understand if you don't have time or prefer to have a shelf stable syrup on hand.
If you want to purchase apple simple syrup, here are some options:
- Torani Apple Syrup
- Monin Caramel Apple Butter Syrup
- Amoretti Apple Pie Syrup
- Stonewall Kitchen Apple Cinnamon Syrup
- Woodfired Apple Simple Syrup
More Simple Syrup Flavors
Once you make this apple recipe, something tells me you're going to want to make ALL kinds of simple syrups!
Luckily, I have a huge collection of recipes (that's always growing) with all kinds of simple syrup flavors. Here are some of my favorites:
- Candy Corn
- Pumpkin Spice
- Sugar Cookie
- Candy Cane
- Pink Peppercorn
- Holiday Spice
Let me know if there's a simple syrup flavor you'd love to see a recipe for!
Apple Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (I recommend dark for more caramel flavor, but you can use light too )
- 2 apples, sliced (about 2 cups)
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- Put sugar, water, sliced apples, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and bring mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, lower heat and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until mixture has thickened and apples have softened.
- Strain mixture into a bowl, being sure to press down on the apples with a wooden spoon or spatula to extract as much juice as possible.
- Keep syrup in bowl or pour into a mason jar and place in fridge to cool completely before using. Syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.
- I recommend using a sweet variety of apple, like Honeycrisp, Fuji, Gala, etc.
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Marion Hardwick says
I want to add that if you don’t want to mess with cutting up apples etc, I tried making the apple syrup using apple cider instead. It came out very good and the apple crisp macchiato is my new favorite coffee based drink.