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How To Make Brown Sugar Syrup

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Have you ever been drinking your favorite beverage only to find some undissolved sugar granules at the bottom of the cup after you finish it? It happens to us all the time.

If you’re a regular coffee or tea drinker, you would know that it is not always easy to completely dissolve the sugar, especially when mixing it in a cold beverage.

For this reason, it is always great to have some sugar syrup on hand for sweetening your beverages, which is not only a great time-saving solution but also extremely delicious.

One commonly used sweetening syrup is brown sugar syrup made using brown sugar. It has a deep-caramel like flavor due to the presence of molasses, and it makes a world of a difference in milk teas and coffee drinks.

You can easily find ready-made brown sugar syrup in the supermarket, but what if we told you that you could make it yourself at home using only 2 basic ingredients?

So, how to make brown sugar syrup? Brown sugar syrup is made by mixing brown sugar into water and simmering, which makes it easy to add to various beverages, especially cold ones.

Read on for a simple brown sugar syrup recipe, to find out how to make some for boba, and other ways you can use it to sweeten your dishes and beverages.

Homemade Brown Sugar Syrup

Making homemade sugar syrup is incredibly easy, and if you haven’t made some before, you should definitely give it a try.

Here are a few reasons why it is always better to make your own delicious brown sugar syrup:

  • It is very easy to make and requires only 2-3 ingredients, all of which you can easily find in your kitchen.
  • It is inexpensive to make and is a lot cheaper than buying bottles of sugar syrup from the store.
  • You can experiment with the flavors to make all sorts of drinks and add ingredients according to your liking.

Brown Sugar Syrup Recipe

To make brown sugar syrup, you need two basic ingredients:

  • Brown sugar
  • Water

Instructions for making brown sugar syrup:

  1. Mix equal parts of water and brown sugar in a saucepan.
  2. Simmer the mixture and stir it until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and let the syrup cool.
  4. The syrup will thicken a little as it cools. Afterward, pour it into a glass bottle with an airtight lid.
  5. Store the syrup in the refrigerator where it will be good for around 4-6 weeks. 

What’s great about this recipe is that you can easily adapt it according to your needs by making a bigger or smaller batch. All you need to do is use equal amounts of water and brown sugar. That’s it.

If you are going for a stronger caramel taste, we suggest you use dark brown sugar or add around 2 tablespoons of molasses to the light brown sugar to make it stronger.

Light Vs Dark Brown Sugar

Making brown sugar syrup is a fairly easy process that requires only 2 ingredients: brown sugar and water.

While that is as simple as it gets, you might be wondering which type of brown sugar to use for your syrup. Light brown or dark brown?

Well, it’s a matter of taste and your personal preference.

Refined brown sugar is made by combining simple white sugar with molasses, and the main difference between the two brown sugar variants is the amount of molasses present in each.

Dark brown sugar contains almost twice the amount of molasses as light brown sugar and has an extra rich color and flavor.

When used for making syrup, dark brown sugar imparts a richer, more delicious toffee flavor as compared to light brown sugar, while also making the beverages slightly darker.

However, just be mindful of the fact that while it is okay to interchange them when making syrup, this may not always be the case when using them for baking.

How To Make Brown Sugar Syrup For Boba

Out of the many flavors of boba or bubble tea, brown sugar is one of the most popular in boba cafes all around the world.

The sweet, caramel flavor of the brown sugar syrup combined with the herbal flavors of tea makes it stand out from the rest, and it all comes down to the right syrup consistency.

To make brown sugar syrup for boba, you need the same 2 ingredients: brown sugar and water. But there’s a catch. This recipe uses dark brown sugar and different ratios of water to sugar.

The ratio of the ingredients plays a crucial part in this recipe since more water may make the syrup less flavorful and concentrated, and may alter its consistency too.

Instructions for making brown sugar syrup for boba tea:

  1. Take 4 cups of dark brown sugar and 2 cups of water.
  2. Add the two ingredients into a non-stick pot and turn the heat to medium.
  3. Mix them properly as the pot heats up so that everything is nicely incorporated.
  4. Keep a close check on the mixture, as it can burn quickly.
  5. Once the mixture starts to bubble, mix it for another minute.
  6. Bring down the heat and let it cook slowly.
  7. Let it cook till you get your desired consistency, similar to that of maple syrup. Don’t make it too thick like honey since it would make it difficult to mix thoroughly in a cold cup of boba.
  8. After you are happy with the consistency, turn off the heat and let it cool.
  9. Store it in an airtight glass bottle.

To make your brown sugar syrup more unique, you can add extra ingredients to the mix. Mixing 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder to the brown sugar will give it a distinguishable flavor. Other flavor enhancers include vanilla and nutmeg.

For some flavorful additions, you may use a little vanilla extract or mix 1 teaspoon of nutmeg with the brown sugar before mixing it with water.

Brown Sugar Syrup Uses

Brown sugar syrup is the liquified form of brown sugar that is commonly used to sweeten hot tea and coffee, as well as cold beverages such as cocktails, iced tea, boba tea, iced coffee, and lemonade.

Since it is a liquid, it is much easier to mix into the drinks as compared to regular brown sugar.

This delicious syrup, however, is not just for beverages and can also be used to sweeten various other foods such as fruit and baked goods. You can drizzle it over your favorite desserts or use it as a glaze.

To make flavored brown sugar syrup, you can add common ingredients such as vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, mint, and lemon to make specialty drinks, flavored iced teas and coffees, and milk steamers. 

You can also use it as a topping for sliced fresh fruit, cakes, pancakes, other baked goods, and ice creams.

How To Store Brown Sugar Syrup?

The best way to store homemade brown sugar syrup is in a glass jar with an airtight lid. It will help keep the syrup fresh and will make cleanups much easier, especially in case of spilling over the edges.

When stored in a glass jar, the brown sugar syrup will last for around 1-3 months, depending on the conditions it is kept in.

It is ideal to keep it in the refrigerator once it has cooled down completely. Also, after using it, make sure to place it back in the fridge to prevent it from going bad and spoiling all your hard work.

Other Types Of Syrups

You can make delicious syrup not just with brown sugar but also with regular sugar or honey, both of which can be perfect for drinks, cocktails, cakes, and other baked goods.

Similar to making brown sugar syrup, to make basic sugar syrup, you need two ingredients: sugar and water. You can start with equal parts of sugar and water and add more sugar if you want a sweeter and richer taste.

Honey syrup is also a great idea to sweeten your beverages since honey itself is thick and won’t dissolve into your drink, especially if it is cold.

To make simple honey syrup, use a 1:1 ratio of honey and water for a milder syrup, or increase the amount of honey to double that of water for a stronger and sweeter honey flavor.

You may experiment with different types of honey for your syrup. Clover honey would give a mild and sweet flavor, whereas orange blossom honey would add a nice citrus-y touch to your favorite cocktails.

To make flavored sugar syrup, you need to combine equal parts of water and sugar and then add your choice of flavorings.

You may want to add some citrus zest to the mixture to make a nice citrus flavored syrup or spices of your choice such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and star anise.

Related Questions

Now that we’ve discussed how to make the perfect brown sugar syrup for your beverages, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have:

How Do You Thicken Brown Sugar Syrup?

If you feel that your brown sugar syrup has a runnier consistency, don’t worry, there’s a simple solution to fix the issue.

Simmer the brown sugar syrup on the stovetop for an additional 5-10 minutes to allow more water to evaporate and make it thicker. Although, keep in mind that the syrup thickens a bit as it cools down and is stored in the fridge as well.

When you reduce the syrup and make it thicker, the final yield is usually lower, therefore, it is a good idea to make a bigger batch.

What Is In Starbucks’ Brown Sugar Syrup?

Starbucks’ brown sugar syrup contains the ingredients used to make simple brown sugar syrup, but with a few additional ingredients.

The ingredients include invert sugar and brown sugar, water, natural flavors, salt, and preservatives.

The salt makes it ideal for strong beverages such as coffee since it brings down the bitterness and increases the perceived sweetness of the syrup.

Can You Freeze Syrup?

Yes, you can freeze simple syrup in an airtight container to preserve it for up to a year. The choice of the container is crucial since it will prevent freezer burn and make sure that it can be used again.

If your syrup has a thinner 1:1 consistency, it may freeze solid. However, a richer syrup with a thicker consistency is unlikely to freeze completely due to its high sugar content.

What Are The Best Substitutes For Brown Sugar?

If you wish to make brown sugar syrup and do not have any brown sugar available, you may use one of its many substitutes to sweeten your foods and beverages.

The best substitute is to use white sugar with molasses. All you have to do is mix 1 tablespoon of molasses with 1 cup of granulated white sugar to make your own brown sugar.

You can adjust the quantity of molasses depending on how dark or light you want your brown sugar to be.

Alternatively, you can combine 1 tablespoon of maple syrup with 1 cup of granulated white sugar to make a nearly perfect brown sugar substitute.

You may also use some coconut sugar in place of brown sugar in a 1:1 ratio, swap it with some honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, or raw sugars such as turbinado or demerara that have mild caramel flavors similar to brown sugar.

Is Brown Sugar Healthier Than White Sugar?

White sugar goes through a purifying process that removes a brown syrup known as molasses from it, giving it its white color.

Brown sugar, on the other hand, is produced either by mixing white sugar with molasses or undergoing less processing to begin with in order to retain its molasses.

Contrary to popular belief, the nutritional differences between the two are insignificant, with brown sugar containing slightly more nutrients and fewer calories.

They are both used in different ways of cooking but can also be substituted for one another, although it may affect the final product’s color, flavor, and texture.

When choosing between the two, it all comes down to your personal preference since neither is better than the other when it comes to a healthier choice.

Regardless of whatever type of sugar you are using, you must limit your intake since it is a major contributing factor to the obesity epidemic and a big cause of heart diseases and diabetes.

What Is The Healthiest Sugar Syrup?

While sugar syrups made with white and brown sugar taste amazing and take your beverages to the next level, they are the worst for you, health-wise.

We know that white and brown sugar are more or less the same when it comes to nutritional value and health benefits (if any). So, are there any healthy sugar syrups?

Yes, the healthiest sugar syrup is stevia syrup, which is a calorie-free and sugar-free alternative to simple sugar syrups. 

Made from stevia leaves, stevia syrup is the perfect sweetener for your teas, coffees, mocktails, and any other beverages.

To make stevia syrup, you need to bring some water to a boil in a small pan and add powdered stevia into it. Let it simmer for a while until the stevia has completely dissolved.

Remove from heat and let it cool down completely before transferring it into a jar and storing it in the refrigerator for later use.

Brown Sugar Syrup

Brown Sugar Syrup

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

If you need something special for drinks and desserts, this recipe is for you!


  • Brown sugar
  • Water


  1. Mix equal parts of water and brown sugar in a saucepan.
  2. Simmer the mixture and stir it until the sugar is completely dissolved. (3-5 min)
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and let the syrup cool. (10 min)
  4. The syrup will thicken a little as it cools. Afterward, pour it into a glass bottle with an airtight lid. 


Store the syrup in the refrigerator where it will be good for around 4-6 weeks.

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