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How to Make Lime Simple Syrup

This sweet and tart lime simple syrup is made with just three ingredients and is simple to prepare. Made with fresh lime, water and sugar, you can whip up a batch of this syrup in minutes. Prepared simple syrup can be used for cocktails, sparkling beverages, lemonade, or used in desserts and fruit salads.

A bottle of lime syrup with a lime slice inside.

This easy recipe makes a delicous liquid sweetener with a bright tart flavor from the fresh limes. It can be used in your favorite cold beverages to add a bright, citrus flavor.

If you are looking for something sweeter you may enjoy blackberry simple syrup or raspberry simple syrup, too.

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Lime simple syrup is a delicious syrup made by heating water, sugar, lime juice, and lime zest until the sugar is dissolved.

The standard sugar syrup recipe calls for one part sugar to one part water.  This recipe replaces some of the water with lime juice giving it a nice, tart citrus flavor.

Lime simple syrup can sweeten cocktails or refreshing mocktails, or it can be used to moisten desserts, such as pound cakes or added to fruit salad. 

Add a splash of lime syrup to lemon-lime soda for fizzy, non-alcoholic drinks, or make a simple cocktail by adding it to club soda with a splash of vodka, tequila, or rum. 

This sweet, delicious syrup takes just 10 minutes to prepare, plus cooling time and a bottle will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks.

Pour it into a pretty bottle to make it a great hostess gift or addition to a cocktail-themed gift basket.

Ingredients & Substitutions

For a full list of ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

There are only three ingredients you need to make this delicious syrup.

  • Water
  • Granulated sugar – This recipe uses regular granulated sugar. The sugar adds sweetness, thickens the syrup, and helps preserve it so you can store it in the refrigerator longer. You can also use cane sugar. 
  • Fresh Limes – It is important to use fresh real lime in this recipe rather than bottled lime juice concentrate.  The fresh lime juice will have a nicer flavor.  You will be using both the juice and zest from the lime.  When zesting limes, only use the bright green parts as the white pith leaves the syrup with bitter flavors. 

When using fresh fruit, the flavor can vary depending on the season, where they are grown, and how fresh the fruit is.  You can taste the syrup before you strain it and add more sugar or lime to get the perfect citrus flavor and balance of sweetness you prefer.

Pro Tip – Turn this into lemon lime syrup by using a combination of fresh lemon and lime juice, or make lemon syrup by replacing all of the lime with lemon juice.

A bottle of lime syrup sitting beside an icy drink with a straw.

Step by Step Instructions

Lime simple syrup can be made with just a few simple steps.

Just place the sugar, water, lime juice, and lime zest in a small saucepan. Let the mixture simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.

When the sugar has fully dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and pour the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the zest.

Once they syrup has cooled, pour the strained lime syrup into a mason jar or bottle and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

How to Use Lime Syrup

Cocktails – Lime simple syrup is delicious in your favorite cocktails. Instead of regular, unflavoured simple syrup, it can be used in any lime or citrus drink such as lime Rickeys and Moscow mules, or mojitos. It is perfect for cocktails like lime martinis, daiquiris, or margaritas.

Sparkling beverages – A tablespoon of lime syrup adds flavour to drinks such as club soda, 7-up, ginger ale, and other cold drinks. Use it for a tasty virgin strawberry mojito. It can also be used to add iced tea. It makes a fun beverage for kids and adults alike.

Desserts – Lime syrup is delicious with desserts. Use it to add moisture and flavour to cakes. It can also be used in smoothies or add flavor to your fruit salads.

Lime simple syrup in a mason jar.

Top Tips & Tricks

  • The longer you simmer the syrup the thicker it will become. For drinks and cocktails, you can remove it from the heat as soon as the sugar is dissolved. For desserts, you can simmer it a bit longer to make it thicker.
  • Be sure to use fresh citrus fruit for the best flavor.

Storing Simple Syrup

Prepared syrup can be stored in an airtight jar or bottle in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 

Flip-top bottles are a great choice as they are airtight, don’t take up much room, and are easy to pour from.

Cocktails to Try

Printable Recipe

A bottle of lime syrup with a lime slice inside.

Lime Simple Syrup

This sweet and tart lime simple syrup is made with just three ingredients and is simple to prepare. Made with fresh lime, water and sugar, you can whip up a batch of this syrup in minutes.
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 24 tablespoons
Calories: 33kcal
Author: Deanna


  • ¾ cup water
  • 6 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 cup granulated sugar


  • Place the water, sugar, lime juice and zest in a small saucepan.
  • Heat over medium heat, stirring occassionally, until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer to remove the zest.
  • Allow the syrup to cool, then move to a bottle or jar for storage. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Estimated Nutrition Facts
Lime Simple Syrup
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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