Does Simple Syrup Need to be Refrigerated?

If you enjoy making simple syrup at home, you may be wondering if simple syrup needs to be refrigerated. This is a common question that people have, as a lot of kinds of syrup doesn’t require refrigeration.

When making food at home, it is important to understand how that food needs to be stored. Even when it comes to things that aren’t necessarily food, like simple syrup.

Anything you make at home has a high chance of going bad before you finish eating it. So it is important to make sure that you store it properly to prevent it from happening too quickly and causing cross-contamination.

Keep reading to find out whether or not simple syrup needs to be refrigerated or if it can be left at room temperature.

Simple Syrup Doesn’t Have to be Refrigerated

If you have made simple syrup at home, you may be wondering if this has to be refrigerated. The good news is that simple syrup does not require refrigeration as it can stay at room temperature without spoiling too quickly.

A Syrup and A Spoon

This is because simple syrup is made primarily of a large quantity of sugar to create the syrup. Sugar is a preservative of a kind that has a relatively long shelf life if added in large quantities.

However, it is important to note that simple syrup is going to have a longer shelf life if kept in the refrigerator. This is not necessary to prevent bacteria from growing, but it will help your simple syrup to stay fresh for a longer period of time.

Eventually, bacteria will settle in the simple syrup and will make it spoil so that it can no longer be consumed. But refrigeration can help to postpone that for longer than if you were to keep your simple syrup at room temperature.

So if you have made a large batch of simple syrup and you cannot eat it within a short amount of time, it may be best to keep it in the fridge. As this will help it to stay good for a much longer period of time.

How Long Does Simple Syrup Last?

Now that you know how to store your simple syrup, you may be wondering how long it will last. This mainly depends on the kind of recipe that you used for your simple syrup and the amount of sugar it contains.

delcious maple syrup

A one-to-one ratio of sugar and water will create a simple syrup that can last up to a month without any issues. Though it may be able to last up to two months if it is refrigerated throughout the entire process.

If you have made a simple syrup with a ratio of two parts sugar to one part water, this syrup will last up to six months. Though it may last many months longer if it is stored in the refrigerator for the entire time.

This is because sugar is a natural preservative and helps to keep things good for longer if there are large quantities of sugar. So a much higher concentration of sugar and your syrup is going to make it much more shelf-stable.

Though you should keep in mind that this is going to make it much more sweet and thicker. So you will not be able to achieve a lighter and thinner syrup if you want to get your simple syrup to last up to six months.

How to Tell if Simple Syrup Is Bad

If you make simple syrup at home, it is important to know what to look for if your syrup has gone bad. Those syrups have a very good shelf life, eventually, bacteria will get into them and spoil them.

When this happens, you do not want to be eating syrup that has gone bad as it can make you sick. So you should be able to recognize the signs and know when your syrup needs to be thrown out.


It is natural for simple syrup to become a little bit cloudy, especially if it is crystallizing a bit. But it should not become very cloudy and almost take on a slimy appearance.

Bottle of Maple Syrup

If this happens, this is a very good sign that the simple syrup has started to go bad, and it should not be consumed anymore. You could also test this out by pouring some out to see what consistency it is, if it is slimy throw it out.

Strange Odor

It can be difficult to know if a simple syrup has gone bad by appearance alone. So you can also smell it to see if the odor has changed and smells off to you.

Your simple syrup should not smell like much of anything if it is a plain sugar syrup. If it is made with other flavoring ingredients, it may be a little bit more difficult to figure out, whether or not the smell is different.

Any kind of simple syrup should never smell rotten or musty or in any way that indicates that it has gone bad.

Color Change

A clear simple syrup should not suddenly become yellow-tinged or orange. Just as a red simple syrup should not suddenly become brown.

Color changes like these indicate that the syrup has gone bad and should no longer be eaten. For the most part, the color should remain the same and should not change unless the syrup has started to go bad.

Final Thoughts

If you like making simple syrup, you may be wondering how to store it. The good news is that simple syrup can be stored in or out of the fridge, depending on how long you want it to stay fresh.

The refrigerated simple syrup is going to last almost twice as long as syrup that is not in a cold environment.