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You Can’t Screw Up this No Cook Strawberry Syrup for Fantastic Cocktails

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Homemade No Cook Strawberry Simple Syrup in a jar with straining syrup in background
Homemade No Cook Strawberry Simple Syrup

There’s an easy way to infuse syrup with the flavor of fresh strawberries: this no cook strawberry simple syrup. It’s so simple you really can’t screw it up. (Did I just hear “challenge accepted” from the interwebs?)

Just like my grandmother used to sprinkle sugar on her strawberries and let them sit out on the counter (or in the fridge) I take the freshest strawberries, sprinkle sugar on them, and let the sugar make magic. It’s fast, easy, and gives you the truest flavor of fresh strawberries you can find in a simple syrup. It is a perfect strawberry syrup for cocktails.

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About Cold Process Fruit Syrups

Just like any food, the flavor of fruit changes with the application of heat during cooking. Think of the taste of a tart with fresh berries on top. Now thing of a mixed berry cobbler, with those fruits cooked into the dessert itself.

Or, think of the difference between sliced sugared strawberries and strawberry jam. Although you can identify both as strawberry, there’s a difference in the flavor of the cooked strawberry jam from the fresh sugared strawberries.

For cocktails I almost always prefer the flavor of fresh berries. And with strawberries, the answer really is always fresh. Every time.

For more about syrups for cocktails in general, head to my article: All About Simple Syrups.

How Does It Work

strawberries in a blue strainer on a towel

Sugar is hygroscopic – meaning it attracts water. And fruit – especially berries and melons – have large amounts of water in them. Once you sprinkle sugar on the fruit, the sugar starts to break down the cell walls as it draws the moisture out of the fruit. Once out of the fruit, it combines with the sugar and creates a flavored-simple syrup – all without cooking.

When making no cook strawberry syrup for cocktails, the bottom of the jar or bag might have some sugar that’s not fully dissolved, but a good shake or a quick muddle of the bag will get everything dissolved and make that syrup beautiful, vibrant and utterly delicious.

How to Make No-Cook Strawberry Syrup

Homemade no cook strawberry simple syrup straining in a jar
Homemade No Cook Strawberry Simple Syrup

For my cold process syrups, I use a ratio of 2:1 fruit to sugar by weight. This is a starting point because the type of fruit you’re using and the sweetness of the fruit vastly affects the outcome. 

Everything gets tossed in a bowl, and then put in a jar or zippered plastic bag and set in the fridge for 12-24 hours. Once the strawberries stop expressing their juice, and the color is a vibrant red, strain out the strawberries and store the cold process strawberry syrup in a clean jar.

Does Strawberry Simple Syrup Need to Be Refrigerated?

Yes! Because it’s not cooked or pasteurized, this fresh syrup MUST be refrigerated.

How Long Does Strawberry Syrup Last?

Homemade no cook strawberry simple syrup straining in a jar
Homemade No Cook Strawberry Simple Syrup

This homemade strawberry simple syrup will last about 10-12 days, but if you want it to last longer, add ½ to 1 oz of vodka to the mix to keep it from spoiling. Because it isn’t cooked, its shelf life is not as long.

Cocktails That Use Fresh Strawberry Syrup

Wondering how to use strawberry simple syrup in cocktails? It’s an amazing substitution for any recipe that calls for simple syrup, from whiskey cocktails like an Old Fashioned or a Whiskey Sour, to Margaritas, Daiquiris, Mojitos, Collins, Spiked Lemonades and more.

Here are just a few to get you started: 

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Recommended Bar Tools

You don’t need every slick, beautiful bar tool out there, but there are several I’ll recommend. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, that does not affect the cost of the items below.) My favorite pieces:

You probably already have these, but you may need them, too:

Homemade No Cook Strawberry Simple Syrup in a jar with straining syrup in background

Best Ever No Cook Strawberry Syrup for Cocktails

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
Make all of your summer cocktails fabulous with this easy and delicious strawberry simple syrup. It celebrates the flavors of fresh strawberries, vibrant, sweet and slightly tart – and all the wonderful ways that builds fantastic cocktails.
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Prep Time 12 hrs
Course Drinks
Cuisine cocktail
Servings 8


  • 4 oz sugar white or cane sugar works best
  • 8 oz fresh strawberries, sliced


  • Combine strawberries and sugar in a clean jar or plastic zippered bag and stir.
  • Seal the jar or bag and put it in the fridge from 12-24 hours. You’ll know it’s ready when the strawberries stop producing more juice and most of the sugar is dissolved.
  • Strain out the solids and store the no cook strawberry syrup in the fridge.
  • To make it last longer, add ½ to 1 oz of vodka


Note: This absolutely works with frozen strawberries, it will just take longer as the strawberries will need to defrost before the sugar can pull the syrup out of them.
Keyword cold process, fresh syrup, no cook, strawberry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

By on June 19th, 2021
Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktail

About Heather Wibbels

Heather Wibbels is a whiskey and cocktail author (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching and designing cocktails, drinking cocktails, and teaching cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location.

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5 thoughts on “You Can’t Screw Up this No Cook Strawberry Syrup for Fantastic Cocktails”

      • Hi, could you add cucumber to this recipe to make a strawberry-cucumber syrup?
        If yes, how much cucumber would you suggest?

        • Yes, you can. Cucumber flavor seems less assertive to me than fresh strawberry. It would depend on how much cucumber you want to shine through. I would start with 1/3 cucumber 2/3 strawberry and go from there. Adjust to you preference.


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