Have you ever made sugar-free simple syrup from scratch to later find shiny crystals at the bottom of the jar staring back at you? It can be really frustrating, especially after all the hard work of making it and the sweet anticipation of using it later. Don’t fret, we have answers and we’re here to help!
Crystallization in simple syrup happens when erythritol recrystallizes under certain circumstances.
Crystals found at the bottom of homemade simple syrup can appear within an hour after being made if the 2:1 water to sweetener ratio isn't followed, or if placed in the fridge.
In case you haven’t heard, we do sell Sugar-Free Simple Syrups that take all the work out of making your own (they come in three flavors: Original, Vanilla, and Caramel, and they're awesome!) but in case you don't have them and you need something now, we’ll share all the tips and tricks on how to make your own when using Lakanto Monkfruit Sweeteners!
What is Simple Syrup? Syrup used to sweeten drinks, originally made with water + sugar. As you can tell it's pretty easy, which is how it got the name “simple syrup.” The only difference in our syrup is that it’s sugar-free, so we use Lakanto Monkfruit Sweeteners in place of sugar.
The secrets to avoiding crystallization in home-made, sugar-free simple syrup
The 2:1 ratio. There has to be twice as much water than sweetener or else the erythritol in the sweetener will crystallize. Just remember: 2 parts water, 1 part Monkfruit Sweetener. For the specific recipe, see next section.
Don’t put it in the fridge! When the sweetener goes through extreme temperature changes (heated up to dissolve it and then cooled down past room temperature) it crystallizes.
Don’t overheat the water and sweetener past what’s necessary. Keep your mixture at medium heat when mixing it in a saucepan on the stovetop. It doesn't need to boil.
Using distilled water helps crystals from forming, however crystallization still happens if the simple syrup is placed in the fridge or if the 2 parts water to 1 part sweetener ratio isn’t followed.
Using Xanthan Gum as a thickening agent to achieve a syrup consistency also helped prevent crystallization to a minor degree, but isn’t necessary if the 2:1 ratio is followed and it’s left at room temperature.
- Only make enough simple syrup that will be used within a couple days. We don’t recommend making big batches for future uses because this syrup can’t be refrigerated.
- To avoid contamination, store the simple syrup in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap.
Sugar-Free Simple Syrup Recipe
- 1/3 cup Lakanto Classic Monkfruit Sweetener
- 2/3 cup distilled water
- optional: 1/8 tsp xanthan gum (if a syrup texture is desired)
- optional: flavor extract of choice
How to Make Sugar-Free Simple Syrup
- Add water and Lakanto Classic Monkfruit Sweetener to a saucepan on the stove and turn to medium heat. Stir with a latex covered whisk or wooden spoon until it's dissolved (should only be a few minutes). The hottest it should get until dissolving is about 115 F. Once dissolved, remove from heat.
- If a syrup viscosity is desired, add xanthan gum and stir. Stir in flavor extract next- be careful of tasting it at this point since the syrup is hot, or wait until it has more fully cooled to add flavoring.
- Once cooled at room temperature your simple syrup is ready to mix in with other drinks!
- If not using immediately, store simple syrup in a covered mason jar at room temperature and use within a few days.
- Don't place the jar of simple syrup in a fridge or else it will crystallize. On the other hand, once the simple syrup is mixed into a drink, it’s ok to place the drink in the fridge because there will be an even higher ratio to water.
- Using distilled water will help the simple syrup not crystallize since minerals and impurities can trigger the sweetener to do so. It's not necessary to use distilled water, but if you find crystals in your simple syrup later, this can be a good thing to try.
- If looking to make large quantities of simple syrup, the general recipe is 2 parts water, 1 part Lakanto Classic Sweetener.
Now that you know how to avoid crystallization in simple syrup, check out our other resources: A Complete Guide to Monkfruit Sweeteners, download our Lakanto Baking Guide, or peruse all our Baking Tip articles!