Hazelnut Simple Syrup: The Ultimate Recipe [for Cocktails, Drinks & Cooking]

Step into the world of hazelnut simple syrup, a game-changer in the realm of drinks and dishes, and discover why this sweet, nutty elixir is your secret weapon for elevating flavors across the board. Prepare to explore an all-encompassing guide that unveils the full potential of this versatile ingredient in your culinary adventures. >>>

What’s Hazelnut Simple Syrup?

Hazelnut simple syrup is a sweet, nutty concoction made from water, sugar, and roasted hazelnuts. Prepared by simmering these ingredients, it offers a rich flavor and smooth texture, with a golden-brown hue. Ideal for enhancing cocktails, beverages, and culinary dishes, this syrup adds depth to a variety of recipes, from coffee drinks to desserts, providing a versatile and aromatic ingredient for both sweet and savory applications.


Core Ingredients & Measurements

Creating hazelnut simple syrup involves combining water, sugar, and hazelnuts, with the option of using either regular or roasted nuts for enhanced flavor. The standard recipe calls for 200 grams of sugar (1 cup), 240 milliliters of water (1 cup), and 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of hazelnuts, preferably roasted to unlock a deeper, richer taste. For those preferring to roast their own, a light toasting in the oven at 180°C (350°F) for 10-15 minutes will suffice, until they’re fragrantly golden.

  • Water and sugar: The syrup’s sweet liquid base.
  • Hazelnuts: 100g (3.5oz), enhanced flavor with roasting.
  • Roasting option: Store-bought or home-roasted for depth.

Should you use whole, chopped or ground hazelnuts?

Using chopped hazelnuts in syrup strikes the perfect balance, offering a robust flavor without complicating the straining process. Whole nuts yield a milder taste and clearer syrup but require longer infusion, while ground nuts infuse the most flavor but can lead to a cloudier consistency and demand fine straining. Chopped nuts thus provide a strong hazelnut essence with manageable preparation steps, making them the ideal choice for both flavor and convenience.

Using different forms of hazelnuts doesn’t significantly alter the basic syrup ratio of sugar to water, but it may affect the amount of nuts needed for desired flavor intensity. Chopped nuts offer optimal surface area for flavor extraction, potentially requiring less quantity than whole nuts. Ground nuts, being more potent, might be used in smaller quantities to avoid overpowering the syrup.

  • Whole Nuts: May need more (e.g., 120g/4.2oz; approximately 1 cup) for extended infusion.
  • Chopped Nuts: Standard amount (e.g., 100g/3.5oz; about 3/4 cup) balances flavor and straining.
  • Ground Nuts: Less needed (e.g., 80g/2.8oz; roughly 1/2 cup) due to potent flavor release.

Can you make hazelnut syrup with other ingredients?

Hazelnut simple syrup can also be made with hazelnut extract, essence, or milk, which offer a convenient shortcut or extra flavor when added to the nut mixture.

Hazelnut extract or essence, being highly concentrated, require only a small amount, such as 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) or even less, depending on the strength, added after the water and sugar mixture cools slightly. This preserves the potent flavor without the need for straining.

Hazelnut milk can replace water in the syrup recipe, using the same volume (240 ml or 1 cup), but may result in a slightly creamier texture, opaque appearance, and milder flavor.

  • Hazelnut Extract/Essence:
    • Measurements: 1-2 tsp (5-10 ml) or less, depending on strength
    • Impact: Strong flavor, no straining required, added post-cooling
  • Hazelnut Milk:
    • Measurements: Replace water with 240 ml (1 cup) of hazelnut milk.
    • Impact: Creamier texture, opaque appearance, milder nutty flavor, same preparation process.

Ingredient Proportions

The optimal ratio for hazelnut simple syrup in beverages is a 1:1 sugar to water ratio, ensuring a versatile blend. For a denser syrup, ideal for culinary uses or mixologist who prefer a more concentrated syrup, a 2:1 sugar to water ratio is recommended. Modifying these ratios affects the syrup’s consistency and sweetness, allowing customization for various uses.

  • Standard ratio: 1:1 for drinks, smooth integration.
  • Thicker syrup: 2:1 for culinary, richer texture.
  • Customization: Adjust ratios for desired consistency and sweetness.

Ingredient Substitutes

Substituting sugar with alternatives like honey or agave can cater to different dietary needs, while almond or vanilla extract can replace hazelnut flavor if necessary. These substitutions ensure the syrup remains adaptable to various tastes and ingredient availabilities.

  • Sugar alternatives: Honey or agave for varied diets.
  • Flavor substitutes: Almond or vanilla extract for hazelnut absence.
  • Adaptability: Maintains syrup versatility across different preferences.

Flavor Enhancements

Infusing hazelnut simple syrup with additional elements such as vanilla, cinnamon, or cocoa can amplify its flavor profile. These additions contribute complexity and might require slight ratio adjustments to preserve the syrup’s balance and consistency.

  • Extra flavors: Vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa for complexity.
  • Infusion benefits: Enriches flavor profile.
  • Balance maintenance: Ratio tweaks might be necessary.

Best Ingredients

The quality of ingredients significantly impacts the final hazelnut simple syrup. Opt for high-quality cane sugar, distilled water, and premium, freshly roasted hazelnuts (or roast them yourself for freshness). These choices ensure a syrup that’s not only rich in flavor but also aromatic and capable of enhancing any dish or drink.

  • Cane sugar: For superior sweetness.
  • Distilled water: For clarity and purity.
  • Roasted hazelnuts: Freshly roasted for authentic flavor.
  • Ingredient quality: Essential for a flavorful, aromatic syrup.

Tools & Equipment

To prepare and store hazelnut simple syrup, a selection of basic kitchen tools is required. Essentials include a saucepan, a wooden spoon, a fine mesh strainer, and airtight storage bottles. Optionally, a nut grinder or food processor can be used for finely chopping the hazelnuts, and a roasting pan if opting to roast the nuts at home. A funnel is useful when pouring the strained syrup into a bottle.

  1. Saucepan: For heating the syrup mixture.
  2. Wooden spoon: To stir the ingredients.
  3. Fine mesh strainer: For filtering out hazelnut pieces.
  4. Airtight bottles: For storage, keeping the syrup fresh.
  5. Nut grinder/Food processor (optional): To finely chop hazelnuts.
  6. Roasting pan (optional): If roasting hazelnuts at home.
  7. Funnel (optional): For pouring syrup into a bottle.

Preparation Method

Step-by-Step Instructions

Creating hazelnut simple syrup involves combining water, sugar, and hazelnuts in a saucepan, bringing the mixture to a simmer, and allowing the flavors to infuse. Start by roasting the hazelnuts if desired, then combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan, heating until the sugar dissolves. Add the hazelnuts and simmer gently, allowing the mixture to thicken slightly and the hazelnut flavor to infuse before straining and storing.

  1. Chop hazelnuts: Optional for stronger flavor.
  2. Roast hazelnuts: Optional, again for flavor enhancement.
  3. Cook: Combine hazelnuts, water and sugar in a saucepan until sugar dissolves.
  4. Add hazelnuts: And simmer for flavor infusion.
  5. Strain: Remove hazelnut pieces for a smooth syrup.
  6. Store: In airtight bottles to preserve freshness.

What is the optimal time to cook the hazelnut syrup for?

The optimal time to simmer hazelnut syrup is typically between 20 to 30 minutes. This duration allows the flavors from the hazelnuts to infuse thoroughly into the syrup without over-reducing the liquid or risking a burnt taste. It’s important to maintain a gentle simmer to ensure the sugar dissolves completely and the flavors meld nicely, resulting in a rich and aromatic syrup.

  • Optimal cooking time: 20-30 minutes
  • Cooking temperature: Gentle simmer

No-Cook Method

A no-cook method for hazelnut simple syrup is less common due to the need for heat to dissolve the sugar fully and to release the flavors from the hazelnuts. While a cold-infusion technique can be attempted by combining all ingredients in a jar and letting them sit for an extended period, this method may result in a less pronounced hazelnut flavor and a shorter shelf-life due to the sugar not being fully dissolved.

For that reason, the no-cook method works better with almond extract or essence, as opposed to nuts. Almond milk can be used instead of water if creamy consistency is desired.

  • Cold infusion: Possible but less effective.
  • Flavor intensity: Reduced compared to cooked method.
  • Shelf-life: Potentially shorter without heat to dissolve sugar.
  • Recommendation: Use almond extract instead of nuts.

Tips & Troubleshooting

Common Mistakes

Avoiding common pitfalls ensures the best quality hazelnut simple syrup. Overcooking can lead to a syrup that’s too thick or caramelized, altering the desired flavor profile. Not straining thoroughly might leave unwanted hazelnut pieces in the syrup, affecting texture. Using unroasted or poorly chopped nuts can result in a less pronounced hazelnut flavor.

  • Overcooking: Monitor heat to prevent thickening or caramelization.
  • Incomplete straining: Ensure a smooth syrup with a fine mesh.
  • Nut preparation: Roast and chop for optimal flavor release.

Expert Tips

For a superior hazelnut simple syrup, freshness and quality of ingredients are key. Freshly roasted hazelnuts enhance the syrup’s nutty essence. Slow simmering allows for a deeper flavor infusion without risking over-reduction. Cooling the syrup before bottling prevents condensation and preserves clarity.

  • Ingredient quality: Use fresh, high-quality hazelnuts.
  • Simmering: Low heat for deeper flavor without over-reduction.
  • Cooling: Ensure syrup is cool before bottling.

Home-made vs. Store-bought

Home-made hazelnut simple syrup offers customization and freshness, allowing control over sweetness and flavor intensity. Store-bought versions provide convenience but may contain preservatives or artificial flavors. The satisfaction of crafting your syrup and tailoring it to personal taste preferences often outweighs the convenience of store-bought options.

  • Customization: Tailor sweetness and flavor in home-made syrup.
  • Freshness: Home-made ensures no preservatives or artificial flavors.
  • Convenience: Store-bought offers ease but may lack personalized taste.

Does it Go Bad?


Hazelnut simple syrup should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness and prevent spoilage. Glass bottles are ideal for preserving flavor and preventing contamination. Freezing is not recommended as it can alter the syrup’s texture and flavor upon thawing.

  • Airtight container: Preferably glass for flavor preservation.
  • Refrigeration: Keeps the syrup fresh and prevents spoilage.
  • Avoid freezing: Can alter texture and flavor.

Shelf Life

When properly stored in the refrigerator, hazelnut simple syrup can last up to a month. The high sugar content acts as a preservative, but freshness is best within the first few weeks. Signs of spoilage include cloudiness, off odors, or mold growth, indicating it’s time to discard the syrup.

  • Refrigerated life: Up to 1 month, best within the first few weeks.
  • Spoilage indicators: Cloudiness, off odors, mold.
  • Room temperature: Not recommended for long-term storage.

Taste, Uses & Pairings

Flavor Profile

Hazelnut simple syrup offers a rich, nutty flavor with sweet undertones, complemented by a warm, inviting aroma reminiscent of roasted hazelnuts. The syrup’s smooth texture enhances the mouthfeel of beverages and dishes, while its golden-brown hue adds visual appeal.

  • Taste: Rich, nutty with sweet undertones.
  • Aroma: Warm, reminiscent of roasted hazelnuts.
  • Texture: Smooth, enriching mouthfeel.
  • Color: Golden-brown, visually appealing.

Beverage & Culinary Applications

Hazelnut simple syrup is versatile in both beverages and culinary applications. It’s a delightful addition to coffee, tea, and specialty lattes, offering a touch of sweetness and nuttiness. In cocktails, it pairs well with spirits like bourbon and vodka. In the kitchen, it can be used to sweeten desserts, drizzled over pancakes or waffles, and even incorporated into savory glazes for meats.

  • Beverages: Enhances coffee, tea, and cocktails.
  • Desserts: Sweetens cakes, pastries, and pancakes.
  • Savory dishes: Adds a unique twist to glazes and sauces.

Pairing Suggestions

The syrup’s nutty flavor complements chocolate, vanilla, and coffee beautifully, making it a versatile ingredient for pairing. It pairs excellently with bourbon, vodka, and even non-alcoholic beverages like hot chocolate and smoothies, offering a depth of flavor that elevates the overall taste experience.

  • Complementary flavors: Chocolate, vanilla, coffee.
  • Beverage pairings: Bourbon, vodka, hot chocolate.
  • Food pairings: Baked goods, breakfast dishes, savory glazes.

Use in Cocktails

Cocktails with Hazelnut Syrup

Hazelnut simple syrup is a coveted ingredient in the cocktail world, adding depth and a hint of sweetness to various mixed drinks. It’s particularly popular in dessert cocktails, where its rich flavor complements creamy and coffee-based beverages.

  • Function: Adds sweetness and nutty flavor.
  • Popular in: Dessert cocktails, coffee-based drinks.

Examples of Cocktails

  • Hazelnut Espresso Martini: A sophisticated blend of vodka, espresso, and hazelnut syrup, perfect for coffee lovers.
  • Nutty Irishman: A creamy concoction featuring Irish cream, hazelnut syrup, and a splash of whiskey.
  • Bourbon Hazelnut Flip: A warming mix of bourbon, hazelnut syrup, and egg, shaken until frothy.
  • Hazelnut Old Fashioned: A twist on the classic, with bourbon, hazelnut syrup, and bitters for depth.
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Martini: A decadent mix of chocolate liqueur, vodka, and hazelnut syrup for dessert in a glass.

Substitutions in Cocktails

In cocktails, almond or vanilla syrups can serve as substitutes for hazelnut syrup, offering a different but equally enticing flavor profile. For an alcohol-free option, maple syrup or agave nectar can provide a similar sweetness and viscosity.

  • Alcoholic substitutions: Almond, vanilla syrups.
  • Non-alcoholic substitutions: Maple syrup, agave nectar.
Hazelnut Simple Syrup

Hazelnut Simple Syrup Recipe

This hazelnut simple syrup is a versatile concoction combining sugar, water, and roasted hazelnuts to create a rich, nutty, and sweet syrup. Ideal for enhancing beverages and culinary dishes, it offers a robust flavor profile and a smooth texture, making it a staple for those who appreciate the depth it brings to both sweet and savory recipes.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • 1 Saucepan
  • 1 Mixing spoon
  • 1 Strainer
  • 1 Sealable glass bottle
  • 1 Roasting pan (optional; for roasting hazelnuts)
  • 1 Food processor (or nut grinder; optional - for chopping hazelnuts)
  • Funnel


  • 1 cup Hazelnuts (ideally chopped and roasted)
  • 1 cup Sugar (preferably granulated)
  • 1 cup Water (ideally filtered)


  • Chop Hazelnuts (Optional): Chopped hazelnuts are best for making the most flavorful syrup with clear appearance. Either purchase the nuts already chopped or chop them at home in a food processor or nut grinder.
  • Roast Hazelnuts (Optional): If not using pre-roasted hazelnuts, spread them in a single layer on a roasting pan and bake at 180°C (350°F) for 10-15 minutes until golden and fragrant. Let cool and finely crush using a nut grinder or food processor.
  • Combine Water and Sugar: In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the water and sugar until the sugar completely dissolves.
  • Add Hazelnuts: Mix in the crushed roasted hazelnuts and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes, allowing the flavors to infuse.
  • Strain: Remove the saucepan from heat and let the syrup cool slightly. Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl to remove the hazelnut pieces. Press gently on the solids to extract maximum flavor.
  • Store: Transfer the strained, cool syrup into an airtight storage container. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Calories: 1524kcalCarbohydrates: 219gProtein: 18gFat: 74gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 55gSodium: 14mgPotassium: 820mgFiber: 12gSugar: 205gVitamin A: 24IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 146mgIron: 6mg
Calories: 1524kcal
Keyword: syrup
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