Homemade Orange Simple Syrup

I am one who is all for making things from scratch, sometimes in an effort to reduce pre-packaging waste, and other times for the sake of being creative. Simple syrups are one of the pantry items that I urge people to make at home. Why? Because the name itself implies its simplicity. It only requires, water, sugar, and whatever taste you want to infuse into the syrup. Once made, these syrups are perfect additions to coffee, cocktails, and baked goods. Today, I share with you this orange simple syrup recipe, which we use to make Cafe Nicos in the winter months.


  • 1-quart water (filtered or distilled)
  • 1/2 lb. sugar (granulated)
  • 5 oranges (peel only, sliced)

The Process:

  1. Combine the water, sugar and orange peels in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir to combine, bring to a boil and cook until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Avoid boiling for too long. Once the sugar caramelizes, you know you have gone too far. I have had plenty a time when I’ve burned my simple syrup and had to start over.
  2. Remove from heat, remove the peels and let the syrup cool. The syrup should be slightly opaque, with no hint of brown. Transfer to a bottle or jar. Store in the fridge for longest life.
  3. Add to Cafe Nico.