Gift Idea: Coffee Syrups

I admit it…I took for granted that I could go to the local grocery wholesaler and buy coffee syrups for less than $5 a bottle. Then I moved away from the Pacific Northwest and reality struck. What’s a girl to do?  Of course, make my own!  And if you have a coffee-loving friend, they’ll be thrilled when you give them a bottle.


When you see how simple this is, you may never buy coffee syrup again!

Basic Syrup:

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

Combine in a saucepan and heat to a simmer, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add flavorings, then pour into your bottle.

See, I told you!

To flavor it, use extracts in whatever flavor you’d like.  I had to order the pumpkin spice from King Arthur Flour.  It’s a flavoring oil and I only needed about 1/4 tsp, since it’s stronger than extract.  For vanilla, almond, orange, or peppermint, use about 1/2 tsp extract for this amount of syrup.  Of course, you can add more to taste.  Be sure to use real extracts, not imitation.  They taste much better!

I’ve seen many recipes for pumpkin spice syrup using real pumpkin puree, but those must be kept in the refrigerator, which isn’t all that great if you’re giving them to someone. I mean, who knows how long they’ll be under the Christmas tree?  The gift, not your friend.

My favorite GI Joe loves blackberry and almond syrups mixed together in his coffee (weird, right?), so this is an easy way for my to keep him supplied. Plus, I can always whip some of these up when I neglect to buy him a Friday gift!

Yes, we are both totally spoiled…27 years ago when we began dating, he would bring a little gift by my dorm room every Friday.  He (and I) have continued this, at least when he’s not deployed, ever since. It’s a nice little perk of being married to him!


66 thoughts on “Gift Idea: Coffee Syrups

  1. Hello,

    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could email me?

    I look forward to hearing from you,


  2. What a cool and easy gift idea! How long will these last? That is super sweet about your Friday gifts. What kinds of gifts do you get for each other? I’d love to know more about this! Your family is seriously the coolest and most inspirational family I know.

    • If you just use the extract and not real pumpkin or caramel or whatever, they last at least two months. I made peppermint back in September and it’s still perfect. Our Friday gifts are usually pretty small…he’ll bring my favorite Keurig cups from Dunkin’ DOnuts, or a magazine, or sometimes flowers. I give him candy and sweets, usually, but occasionally it’s a book or I load a new app on his iPad for him. My favorite is when he’s flying home on Fridays and he always finds a Rocky Mtn Chocolate Factory at the airport to bring me a caramel apple. When we were freshmen in college, and not even officially dating yet, he cut out Calvin and Hobbes from the newspaper everyday while I was home for Christmas break and slid them under the door of my dorm room before I returned. How could I not date such a sweetie? Even if he did show up for our first date with his very first boot camp style buzz cut.

      • Oh my gosh, such sweet ideas! You guys are an awesome couple! Love the Calvin and Hobbes story! Thanks for the info on the syrups!

    • Thanks, Kathy…it’s crazy to think we’ve been doing this for almost 27 years now! We coulda bought a cottage on the coast with all those little gifts!

  3. Love the syrups – and the Friday gift idea, too (even though that cottage sounds also good… ha ha!). Have to try out those syrups, I’m just not sure if I can get the extracts here in Germany. Oh well, a girl’s gotta improvise! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Have you tried doing this the sugar free way? These are amazing and I would love to make them but I need to do so sugar free. So if anyone has done this let me know how it turned out :)

      • I control my sugar intake also, but I don’t like to use artificial sweeteners either. I buy Whey Low online. It’s a sugar, but it’s much lower on the glycemic index than table sugar is, and it contains much fewer calories also. Get the “sugar for diabetics” type, and use it just like you would use regular sugar. It does not raise my blood sugar at all.

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    • You should, Marcy! My kids have caught on now, though, and want to know where their Friday gifts are! Really, like they’re not spoiled every day of the week?

  6. Pingback: [BLOCKED BY STBV] Coffee Syrups DIY| Handcrafted Coffee Syrup | DIY Gift World

    • Linda, for caramel, I think one way would be to cook 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water until it is golden (caramel colored) then add another cup or so of water to thin it. Let me know if that works for you! Or you can search for caramel extract online…I just did and found several options. For chocolate, Neilson-Massey makes a Chocolate Extract you can find online.

  7. what a great idea and great trafition… heart melted when he put Calvin and Hobbes under your door…definitely a keeper..ya don’t find them like that anymore…lol..

  8. silly question…wouldn’t an oil and a simple sugar seperate? I’m sorry if that sounds nitpicky but how do you make sure the oil is distributed througout the liquid ie emulsified? Cheers

  9. These are great! My dad is a huge coffee drinker and I’ve made him a toda coffee cozy, this will be the perfect thing to add to his gift! Thanks so much! I can’t believe how easy they are?!

    • I’ve had it for over a month before, and it’s been fine at room temp. If you’re keeping it longer, you may want to refrigerate it. Thanks for the question!

  10. Hey! love this idea i needed help with christmas gifts and i believe i have found my answer! But i can not find cute bottles like this.. i checked out pier one and world market no luck:/ i typed empty wine bottles in search is this what you would do? let me know thanks!

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  12. I became very inspired after reading this and a pumpkin spice flavored was on my palate. And it was oh sooooo good.
    Here is what I did.

    Before adding sugar…I put water in sauce pan.
    1) Grab a coffee filter and add
    2) 2 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice.
    (Or make your own.
    2 TBS. Cinnamon,
    1 TBS. Ground Ginger,
    1&1/2 tsp. Cloves,
    And I added about 1/2 tsp of both Nutmeg & Allspice.)
    3) Twist the filter closed
    4) place filter in pot and bring to a boil (turn stove off immediately once it starts boiling) I dunk it up and down to really get those flavors come out. Then just let it sit for about 10 minutes for good flavor.
    5) Remove filter lightly squeezing out any remaining liquid.
    6) add 2 cups of sugar.
    Stir till sugar dissolves.

  13. Pingback: [BLOCKED BY STBV] Flavored coffee syrups | notchefkelley

    • Eileen, they’re just black chalkboard vinyl (I bought a roll of it at Hobby Lobby). I used paper punches to punch the shapes I wanted. I have seen chalkboard labels, though, at all the craft stores this year and at World Market. Hope that helps!

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  15. hello i had a quick question and i didnt scour all 63 comments thoroughly…but whats the shelf life on the syrup?? basic sugar and water and whatever extract stays good for how long? (and doesnt require refrigeration?)

    • I would say at least a month, as long as the bottle you’re storing it in is clean and sterile when you fill it (just a heat cycle of the dishwasher should do it). Thanks for asking!

  16. Pingback: [BLOCKED BY STBV] Best DIY gifts for Best Friends | Another Crafty Little Blogger

  17. Awesome syrups, FYI sells the bottles in large and small. Make great gifts. sells all the oil flavoring also.

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