How to Make Demerara Syrup at Home (Video Recipe)

6 minutes
April 22, 2024
RosieJump to Recipe

Demerara sugar, an unrefined sugar type with an earthy caramel and molasses flavor, is the main ingredient of this old-fashioned syrup. The other one – just water. An amazingly simple recipe using only 2 ingredients and following 3 easy steps. The result is a simple syrup that contributes a layer of warm toasty sweetness that pairs beautifully with the ingredients in your drinks.

However, before starting to prepare this delicious syrup, I want to let you know some essential info about demerara syrup. You are already used to my way of doing things – research before everything! I am aware that sometimes you might find this section a little boring and even skip it, but, please, keep in mind that for me the PRO Tips are often game changers!

How to Make Demerara Syrup

Demerara Syrup FAQ

What is demerara sugar? Demerara is a less processed form of raw cane sugar with large flavorful light brown crystals. It is also left with a deliciously mellow toffee flavor after processing.

Demerara sugar is produced from sugarcane and consists of large grains which provide a nice, crunchy texture in baking. It originates from Guyana (formerly Demerara) in South America. However, most demerara sugar available today comes from Mauritius in Africa.

How to Make Demerara Syrup

What is the best substitute for demerara sugar? Turbinado sugar is another less refined cane sugar with a soft toffee and caramel taste. If you don’t have demerara sugar, you can substitute it with turbinado; it will work perfectly for this simple syrup recipe. In addition, as the last option, you could prepare the syrup with light brown sugar or cane sugar, but neither will be quite the same when it comes to flavor. And if you do not have turbinado sugar, sugar in the raw would be the next closest substitute.

Find Out More About Demerara Syrup

Where can you buy demerara sugar? – This type of sugar can be purchased at most large grocery stores, hypermarkets, and specialty grocery retailers. Also, keep in mind that if you can’t locate it next to sugars, is often found in the spice section. Last but not least, if you can’t have the time to visit several grocery stores to search for it, demerara sugar is nationally available on Amazon.

How to use demerara syrup? Demerara syrup can be used in place of any plain simple syrup. However, it pairs better with some flavors than others. Since it has notes of toffee and caramel, Demerara Syrup tends to nicely pair especially with any barrel-aged spirits like aged rum, brandy, bourbon or whiskey.

Demerara Syrup

Moreover, you could also try using demerara sugar syrup in non-alcoholic drinks like iced coffee and bubble tea. Also, maybe try it on some pancakes or top some vanilla ice cream with it!

How to store the sugar syrup? – The homemade simple syrup will be safely kept for at least one month before getting cloudy. Just make sure to use an airtight glass container and keep it in the refrigerator. Also, if you want to store it longer, double the sugar; a 2-to-1 ratio. This will extend its shelf life.

When to use demerara syrup instead of simple syrup for cocktails?

My simple rule is for brown spirits such as whiskey and aged or dark rums I use demerara syrup.  For all neutral or clear spirits such as vodka or gin, I use simple syrup.  This rule generally works as brown spirits typically have flavor notes of caramel, molasses, vanilla, and toffee which match the flavor of demerara syrup so they work well together.  With clear or neutral spirits you often just want to add a little sweetener without changing the flavor or color of the cocktail.  Now there are some exceptions to this rule as some white rum and neutral spirit based tiki cocktails use demerara syrup.

How to Make Demerara Syrup?

Now that you know a little more about demerara syrup, it is time to learn how to make it yourself. You don’t have to worry about anything: the ingredients are easy to find, and the preparation process is kind of relaxing, really! Not to mention all the benefits this simple syrup comes with:

  • it is 100% gluten-free;
  • cost far less than store-bought demerara syrups;
  • can be used in so many ways (in alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and even in desserts);
  • you can vary its flavor by adding your favorite spices (ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, or orange).
 Demerara Syrup

Ingredient List

The moment of truth: is this recipe really only a 2-ingredient one? Well…

  • 1 cup demerara sugar;
  • 1 cup water.

3-Step Demerara Syrup Recipe

Now, that you already have the ingredients you need, it’s time to find out how to prepare the demerara sugar syrup. As you probably already guessed, the steps are super easy – you just mix the two ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat. One of the easiest recipes for a full-of-flavor final result!

demerara sugar
  1. Firstly, add 1 cup of demerara sugar and 1 cup of water to a small saucepan over medium heat.
water and demerara sugar
  1. Then, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Keep in mind that you should not bring the water to a boil.
homemade Demerara Syrup
  1. Finally, let the syrup cool, then pour it into a glass container (jar or bottle) and seal it tightly with a lid.
homemade Demerara Syrup

*Do not boil the syrup as it should be nice and smooth. We don’t want to push simple syrups to one of the candy stages.

**When substituting demerara syrup for honey in recipes, keep in mind to go lighter. About 50% less if usually sweet enough, as honey has a stronger flavor.

How to Make Demerara Syrup

Easy Video Recipe for Homemade Demerara Syrup

I also prepared a video for this sugar syrup recipe as I find it the best way to learn how to prepare it. The steps are the easiest and the ingredients are more than affordable, as you most probably already get used. So, a video tutorial is your most suitable helper. Just watch the steps and instructions here and you’ll convince yourself that this is one of the best ways to prepare a homemade flavored sweetener!

Enjoy Your Sweetened Cocktails!

Finally, it’s your time to share your experience with this demerara sugar syrup recipe and all your thoughts on it. So, tell me everything in the comments section: What do you think about the simple demerara syrup recipe? Did you experience any problems when melting the sugar? Did your kids enjoy this topping over their pancakes and ice cream? Additionally, did you go for the main recipe or did you flavor it? If you went extra, let us all know how that went!

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homemade Demerara Syrup

Demerara Syrup Recipe

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This is one of the easiest recipes here: only 2 ingredients and 3 steps. Use Demerara Syrup as a more flavorful substitute for any recipe that calls for simple syrup.

  • Total Time: 5 minutes


Units Scale
  • 1 cup demerara sugar
  • 1 cup water


  1. Firstly, add 1 cup of demerara sugar and 1 cup of water to a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Then, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Keep in mind that you should not bring the water to a boil.
  3. Finally, let the syrup cool, then pour it into a glass container (jar or bottle) and seal it tightly with a lid.
  • Author: Rosie
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Also, please, do not hesitate to ask any further questions about the homemade demerara syrup recipe in the comments too. I will make sure to answer you as soon as possible! Last but not least, let me know how did you use the syrup: drinks, desserts, or both. If you haven’t decided yet where to add the syrup, try one of these recipes:


Rosie is the proud owner of two rescue cats and her current obsessions are fitness, photography, and ethnic cuisine. Her mission is to share easy and scrumptious recipes that anyone, even the busiest of readers, can recreate.

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