This Lime Simple Syrup is made with just 3 ingredients and is great for everything from non-alcoholic cocktails, homemade natural soda, to flavoring cakes. It’s sweet, tart, and such an easy recipe that you’ll make it again and again.
If you love limes this recipe is a great way to have this flavor year-round, because lime syrup can be frozen and will keep for months. It's also a great recipe for when you want to add flavor to a drink, a dessert, or a salad dressing where you would normally use honey.
What is Lime Simple Syrup
A simple syrup recipe is usually made with equal parts of water and granulated sugar. The mixture is heated to dissolve the sugar which creates a sugar syrup that can be used to sweeten and flavor a variety of drinks and food.
Lime syrup is the same as simple syrup except you’re using fresh lime juice in addition to some water. The final syrup has a bright floral and citrusy flavor with just the right amount of sweetness. You can also use lemons to make lemon simple syrup or passion fruit to make a passion fruit simple syrup.
What You'll Need for This Recipe
Here is what you’ll need for this simple syrup.
- Fresh Limes: For this recipe you’ll need fresh limes and fresh lime juice, so don’t throw away the limes after you juice them. If available, you can also make this recipe using key limes.
- Granulated Sugar: Make sure to use granulated sugar and not powdered sugar.
- Water: Limes tend to be more acidic than lemons, so for this simple syrup recipe I added water to create a simple syrup that is less sour.
How to Make Lime Simple Syrup
Clean the container for the lime simple syrup by washing it with soap and hot water, and thoroughly rinsing it. Next pour boiling water into the container twice to ensure it is thoroughly clean.
Wash the outside of the limes with cold water. Juice the limes until you have 1/2 cup of lime juice. You will need 4-6 limes depending on their size and how juicy they are. I recommend using an electric juicer to get the most juice possible out of the limes.
Strain the lime juice through a coarse strainer to remove any seeds. Combine the sugar, water, and lime juice in a small saucepan, 2 or 3 quarts.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat making sure the sugar dissolves and let boil for a few seconds. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the lime rinds to the simple syrup. Return the pan to the heat, bring it back to a boil, and let boil for 30 seconds.
Remove the pan from the heat, cover it with a lid and let it steep for 1 hour. Steeping the lime rinds will pull a lot of flavor from the limes.
Pour the warm lime syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Let the lime halves drain for about 10 minutes then use the back of a large spoon to press any remaining juice out of the limes or use your hands to squeeze the limes.
How to Store Lime Simple Syrup
Store the homemade lime syrup in an airtight container. Use a funnel to pour it into a glass jar or bottle that has a lid. Store the lime simple syrup in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Because it has fruit juice in it, it can’t sit at room temperature like plain simple syrup.
Uses for Lime Syrup
- Combine with club soda or ginger beer for refreshing non-alcoholic drinks
- Use it for classic cocktails like a Moscow mule.
- Use to flavor and sweeten iced tea or hot tea.
- Use it to brush cake layers with a silicone brush to add lime flavor and to help keep the cake layer moist
- Use on a fresh fruit salad for a little extra zing
- Drizzle it over pound cake or Bundt cake
- Use it to flavor ice cream
Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- When selecting the lemons don’t use limes that have a soft (mushy) texture or large brown spots
- Use limes with bright green skin for this lime syrup. Lemons that appear dry and shriveled do not have as much oil in the outer layer for flavor.
- Use an electric juicer to get the most juice possible out of the fruit. If you don't have an electric juicer use this manual juicer.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
I haven't tried this recipe with other sweeteners. You're more than welcome to give it a try. If you do, please let me know how it turns out.
Yes, you can freeze the lime simple syrup for up to 3 months. Place it in an airtight container and thaw it in the refrigerator. Or pour it into an ice cube tray and use the ice cubes in drinks.
Yes, the syrup can go bad. If it turns cloudy or opaque then it has started to ferment and go bad. At that point discard the syrup.
The simple syrup will last 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.
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Lime Simple Syrup
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup (125 grams) lime juice 4-5 limes depending on the size
- Wash the outside the limes under cool water. Juice the limes until you have 1/2 cup of juice. Keep the lime halves. Place the sugar and water in a 2 or 3-quart saucepan. Strain the lime juice into the same saucepan. Heat the mixture on medium high heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the juiced lime halves into the lime syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid. Let the limes steep for 1 hour.
- Strain the lime syrup into a bowl through fine mesh strainer. Let the limes drain and squeeze them to get as much juice out of them as possible. Let the syrup cool to room temperature, then pour it into a jar. Refrigerate the lime syrup for up to 3-4 weeks.
- Use the lime syrup to make limeade or your favorite mocktail.
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