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
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
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?
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:
Best Ever No Cook Strawberry Syrup for Cocktails
- 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