This fresh mint simple syrup is ideal for soaking cakes, sweetening cocktails, dressing up iced teas and so much more. All while adding a perfect hint of freshness that can only come from infusing with fresh sweet mint herbs!
- Simple syrup is so simple.
- A fresh n' minty twist...
- Why this recipe leads to sweet success...
- Ingredient tips for better baking...
- How to make simple syrup from scratch...
- Let's watch the full video tutorial!
- *Expert Tips and Tricks* to help you bake this recipes better...
- Other recipes fans of this minty recipe will love:
- ~The Sweet Recipe Card~
Simple syrup is so simple.
How much do I really need to say about simple syrup...it really, couldn't be simpler to make and can be used in endless ways.
But for some reason, I find people really tend to complicate the process. So I'm going to share the secret for making a perfect simple syrup with you....
...just don't touch it!
Simple, right? *wink*wink
But seriously, that's the trick. Just put everything carefully into your pot, give it a brief stir before turning on the heat, then leave. it. be. The magic will happen all on its own - I mean, how cool is that?!
A fresh n' minty twist...
For this particular recipe, we're adding a fresh n' minty twist to this classic syrup, as fresh mint is one of my all-time favorite flavors in desserts, and also one of the hardest to properly incorporate. (But if you're looking for a plain simple syrup recipe, we've added notes on how to do that too or make a classic vanilla variation as well!)
An infused simple syrup like this one is the perfect way to preserve that fresh mint flavor, and translate it into many of our favorite types of treats and drinks for a fun and different flavor that we don't get to enjoy nearly as much as we should. So let's get cooking!
Why this recipe leads to sweet success...
There are two key parts to this recipe the make it super easy, and also super tasty all at once:
- How we set up matters: we prep the ingredients in a certain way to set ourselves up for a hands-off cook. By ensuring we add the liquid first, we prevent the sugar from really adhering to the bottom of the pot. Then, by adding the ingredients on the stove, with very small, gentle stirring, we make sure no crystals splash on the side of the pot which can lead to recrystallization which we definitely do not want.
- Infuse it while it's hot: add the mint to the syrup when it's boiling hot. In addition to crushing/bruising it while submerged in the syrup, the heat encourages the maximum amount of flavorful oil release from the fresh mint leaves. The overnight infusion allows this process to continue, so after 12+ hours we have a super flavorful syrup, that still tastes very fresh and takes very little effort to make!
Ingredient tips for better baking...
(Pssst…if you're ready to just get baking, get all the details in the recipe card below!)
So our ingredient list is pretty basic here: water, sugar, and mint. But, the species of mint plant we use will make all the difference in our final product. What we're looking for is "Sweet Mint" (or "Spearmint" if you can't find any Sweet Mint near you). If you buy a traditional grocery store pack of mint from a national brand, 99% of the time you'll be getting Sweet Mint, so no need to worry there.
However if you pick up mint from a local farm, like I often do, I actually see fresh "Peppermint" leaves available more often than "Sweet Mint." While you can use peppermint leaves, they have a distinctly "toothpastey" flavor I'm not a big fan of; so I would steer clear if possible. I'll explain exactly what to look for below!
Sweet Mint (left): rounder, typically bumpy leaves; pronounced teeth on the leaves' edges; no dark edges; "sweet" aroma (no bite to it, doesn't remind you of toothpaste). Spearmint looks similar and is a good alternative if you can only find that variety instead.
Peppermint (right): longer, skinnier, and smoother leaves; smaller teeth on the leaves' edges; sometimes has a dark color on the edge of the leaf: and has a strong, toothpastey smell.
How to make simple syrup from scratch...
(Pssst…if you're ready to just get baking, get all the details in the recipe card below!)
- With your pot on the stove (heat off), pour in the cold water, and then the sugar into the center of the pot. (We use cold water as it'll give your sugar more time to dissolve before you get to a full boil.)
- Very gently stir the mixture several times to combine the ingredients.
- Cook over medium heat without stirring it at all. You'll reach a boil, and eventually the sugar will be fully dissolved and the syrup will be clear.
- Once all sugar is dissolved, remove the syrup from the stove and add the mint leaves. Submerge, crush and bruise the leaves in the hot syrup to release their oils.
- Cover pot with a lid and cool to room temperature. Store covered in the fridge for 12-24 hours (with leaves still in the syrup) to allow mint to fully infuse.
- Once ready, strain your syrup to remove leaves, then store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Let's watch the full video tutorial!
Now that you know how it's done, check out the video below to see it in action!
*Expert Tips and Tricks* to help you bake this recipes better...
What's the TOP TIP for making the best simple syrup?
Follow the instructions exactly as writ! From prepping the ingredients properly, to not touching the syrup once you're cooking, if you just follow along the recipe, I promise you'll have a perfect simple syrup at the other end.
How long can you keep simple syrup?
Simple syrup keeps for 3-4 weeks if it's kept clean (not contaminated with cake crumbs etc.), stored air-tight in the fridge.
How do you store simple syrup?
I love to store mine in a squeeze bottle with a cap as it's super easy to then squeeze some on to a cake as a soak or add a little to my favorite cocktail or beverage!
Can you skip the mint and just make a vanilla simple syrup?
Absolutely! If you'd prefer to have just a vanilla simple syrup instead of mint, you can just leave the mint leaf infusion step out and follow the rest of the instructions as written. You can also stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract or the contents of one vanilla bean after the syrup is fully cooked for a true vanilla syrup as well.
Other recipes fans of this minty recipe will love:
Be sure not to miss our Strawberry Trifle Recipe which puts this syrup to the best use and you can also use this recipe to soak our Easy Vanilla Sheet Cake paired with our Vanilla Buttercream frosting for a fun and easy Vanilla Fresh Mint Cake!
⭐ If you bake up this tasty recipe please give it a ⭐ rating in the recipe card or leave a comment and feel free to ask any questions at the bottom of the page to help others find their way to this sweet recipe too! ⭐
~The Sweet Recipe Card~
Fresh Mint Simple Syrup
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 cups packed fresh sweet mint leaves (rinsed)
- Add water and sugar to pot: pour the water into a small pot set on your stove (without the heat on), then add in the sugar (it's important the water goes first to prevent the sugar from sticking to the bottom, and we add everything on the stove so we don't shake the pot moving it).
- Gently stir to combine: very gently stir the mixture several times to combine, being sure not to splash any sugar onto the sides of the pot (it could cause your syrup to recrystallize which we definitely don't want!).
- Turn on the heat: turn your burner on to medium heat. Allow the syrup to heat up and cook without stirring it at all. It will eventually reach a boil, and you can allow it to keep boiling just until the mixture is completely clear and the sugar is fully dissolved (about 7-10 minutes, but time will fluctuate based on your stove and pot size). If you see a stubborn white spot in the bottom of the pot where the sugar is sticking, feel free to gently stir it in.
- Add mint: once sugar is fully dissolved, remove syrup from heat and add mint leaves. Using a heat safe spatula, press the leaves down to fully submerge them in the syrup. Repeat until you feel you have sufficiently crushed and bruised the leaves as this will help encourage them to release their oils for a more flavorful syrup.
- Cover and cool: cover pot with a lid and allow syrup to cool completely to room temperature. Once room temp, place the pot in the fridge overnight (12-24 hours) to allow the flavor to fully infuse.
- Strain and enjoy! After the infusion, strain your syrup through a fine mesh sieve to remove leaves, then transfer to a container for storage and keep refrigerated up to 4 weeks. Use to soak your favorite cakes, add a fresh minty note to your favorite cocktail, or even spruce up your ice tea!
Test Kitchen Tips
- Vanilla Simple Syrup: if you'd prefer to have just a vanilla simple syrup instead of mint, you can just leave the mint leaf infusion step out and follow the rest of the instructions as written. You can also stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract or the contents from one vanilla bean after the syrup is fully cooked for a true vanilla syrup as well.
I hope you and your loved ones enjoy this recipe and when you give these a try, please share (literally and electronically!) and tag me on Instagram or Facebook @mint.and.mallow.kitchen so I can see all your amazing sweets and help you with any baking conundrums that come up!
Love, light and sweets always,
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