Easy sugar-free simple syrup recipe

How to make simple syrup with xylitol

Homemade simple syrup made with xylitol

Looking for a sugar-free syrup recipe that tastes like the real thing?
This simple sugar-free syrup is really easy to make and it tastes just like regular syrup. Get ready to sweeten your iced tea, coffee or any other beverage of your choice with this keto-friendly syrup!

What is simple syrup and what do you use it for?

Simple syrup is a liquid sweetener made by dissolving sugar in water.
It has a slightly viscous texture and it easily dissolves in cold drinks, so it’s often used to sweeten cocktails and chilled drinks, like iced tea or frappes.

Can you make simple syrup without sugar?

Yes, you can use sugar-free sweeteners to make an outstanding simple syrup.
In this post you’ll learn how to make a sugar-free simple syrup with xylitol, which is a low-carb sugar alcohol.

I’ve also tried making it with erythriol (one of my favorites sugar alternatives), but my erythriol simple syrup still crystallizes, so I will just share the xylitol version for now.

On the other side, while I haven’t tried it, it looks like you can replace the xylitol for allulose to make this simple syrup (allulose has not been approved in the European Union, where I live, yet).


  • Very easy to make
  • Tastes like regular simple syrup
  • Sugar-free, tooth friendly, low-carb, keto-friendly and with a low glycemic index (GI)
  • Can be used to sweeten any beverage of your choice

Ingredients

You only need 3 ingredients to make sugar free simply syrup – you may even only use only 2, but the last optional ingredient is my opinion the “magic touch”.
For more details about each ingredient, keep reading bellow.

Just a few ingredients

  • Water
  • Xylitol (birch sugar)
  • Xanthan gum

WATER – there is not much to say about this ingredient.
You may use regular tap water (of course, as long as it’s drinkable); in my experience, there is no special need for distilled water or store bought water.

XYLITOL – this sugar alcohol, also known as birch sugar, is naturally found in many plants.
Birch sugar tastes as sweet as regular sugar but it doesn’t cause cavities.
Xylitol is also low-carbohydrate and keto-friendly.
You can find xylitol in granulated form in most food stores or online.
Just be aware that xylitol it’s not safe for pets; if you prefer to skip the xylitol for this reason, it looks like you may want to replace it for allulose.

Related: how to sweeten your drinks without refined sugar

XANTHAN GUM – this ingredient is a thickener and emulsifier.
It’s often used in gluten-free baking and it helps to prevent sugar crystallization.
You can find xanthan gum in the baking aisle of some supermarkets or online. Interestingly, although the name may sound artificial and therefore unhealthy, xantham gum may actually provide some interesting dietary benefits.
So, while this ingredient is optional, I strongly recommend using it; xanthan gum will give your syrup a viscous, thicker consistency and it will prevent the xylitol become gritty.

How to make sugar-free simple syrup

The great thing about this sugar-free syrup recipe is that it only takes a few minutes to make.

Here’s how to make sugar-free simple syrup with xylitol:

How to make sugar-free simple syrup (with xylitol)

  1. Dissolve the xylitol

    Place the xylitol in a small saucepan, pour carefully the water and simmer.

  2. Let cool down a little

    Take off heat when the xylitol has dissolved completely.
    Pour the syrup into a blender or a container that resists blending.
    Wait a little so the syrup can cool down a bit before adding the xanthan gum (this is to prevent clumping).

  3. Mix the xanthan gum

    Add the xanthan gum and blend until the xanthan is evenly distributed (I use the accessories to whip cream with a hand mixer).
    The syrup will likely get a cloudy look but without noticeable big chunks of xantan gum.Adding xanthan gum to sugar-free simple syrup

Tricks to make sugar free syrup that doesn’t crystallize

  • Add xanthan gum after removing the saucepan from the heat:
    Xanthan gum is known to prevent crystallization, but it also clumps very easily. To prevent it, don’t add it to the saucepan: wait instead until the syrup has cooled down a bit before adding it.
  • Wait 24 hours before storing the simple syrup in the fridge:
    I’ve read that this allows the ingredients to “set” and it make less likely that the xylitol crystallize. I can’t confirm if this is true because I haven’t tried putting the simple syrup in the fridge right away, but when letting the simple syrup one day in room temperature before refrigerating, it didn’t crystallize, so it may be worth a try. (Please tell me in the comments bellow your experience if you’ve put the syrup in the fridge from the beginning).
  • Use xylitol (or allulose) instead of erythriol:
    Erythritol is another sugar alcohol that has very similar properties to xylitol but until now, when I tried making a simple syrup with erythritol, it crystallized sooner or later.
    Who knows, maybe with more tweaking I’ll be able to make an erythritol simple syrup that doesn’t crystallize (and be sure that I will happily share the recipe then!)

How to store xylitol simple syrup

Xylitol has a similar shelf life as regular sugar, and regular syrup made from xylitol has also a similar shelf life than regular homemade simple syrup.

Sugar free xylitol may be stored in a airtight, sterile and closed container for up to 1 month in the fridge.
Some people say that simple syrup may last for up to several months in the fridge but I like to play it safe and use it within one month.

You can also freeze sugar-free simple syrup.
If you freeze simple syrup, I recommend doing it in small measured portions, so you can easily thaw and use only what you need.

Ideas to use sugar-free simple syrup

You may use this xylitol simple syrup for any purpose you would use regular sugar syrup.

Here are a few ideas:

  • To sweeten iced tea, coffee or any other beverage of your choice
  • To make cocktails and mocktails (it’s a great sugar-free option for mojitos!)
  • As a pancake syrup or waffle syrup
Sugar-free simple syrup made with xylitol
5 from 1 vote

Easy sugar-free simple syrup recipe

How to make simple syrup with xylitol
Print Recipe
Cook Time:5 mins
Resting:15 mins
Total Time:20 mins

Equipment

  • Small saucepan
  • whisker or blender

Ingredients

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup xylitol around 100 gr.
  • teaspoon xanthan gum optional but strongly recommended

Instructions

  • Put xylitol in a small saucepan, add the water carefully and simmer.
  • When the xylitol has dissolved completely, take off the heat.
    Pour the syrup into a blender glass or a blend resistant container.
    Let the syrup cool down a little before adding the xanthan gum (this is to prevent clumping).
  • Add the xantan gum and blend until the xantan is evenly distributed (I use the accessories to whip cream with a hand mixer).
    The syrup will likely get a cloudy look but without noticeable chunks of xantan gum.
    Adding xanthan gum to sugar-free simple syrup
  • Put in a clean, airtight container and let it rest for 24 hours at room temperature. After that, store it in the fridge and use within a month.
    Homemade sugar-free simple syrup

Notes

  • A word of caution – Xylitol is toxic for dogs
  • What to replace xylitol with – it looks like you may replace the xylitol in this recipe 1:1 for allulose

Nutrition

Calories: 17kcal
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Vegan
Keyword: cold drink, simple syrup, sweetener
Servings: 12 Tbsp.
Calories: 17kcal

FAQs

How long does homemade xylitol simple syrup last?

Sugar-free simple syrup will last for up to one month when stored properly in the fridge (in a closed, airtight, clean container).

Can I make a sugar-free simple syrup without xanthan gum?

Yes, you can make this recipe without xanthan gum, but the texture and consistency of your syrup may be different.

Does this sugarfree syrup tastes like Starbucks simple syrup?

Yes, as long as you add xantan gum, this sugar-free syrup has a very similar viscosity and taste as Starbucks´ simple syrup.

To sum it up

Simple syrup is a convenient sweetener to make drinks.
If you want to reduce your sugar intake, you can easily make a sugar-free version of simple syrup.
To make a delicious sugar free syrup you’ll only need xylitol, water and xanthan gum (while this last one is optional, it will make your syrup remains thick and without crystallizing).
This recipe is very easy, and it tastes just like regular simple syrup without some of the downsides of refined sugar, so it’s a must if you want to enjoy sweet, cold drinks without using real sugar.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is a really great idea!
    I have 2 questions:
    1- isn’t xylitol calorie-free? I thought it had no calories, but I am asking since I see this recipe has 17 calories (not that I am against calories, and it’s still less than with sugar, but I’m just curious).
    2- Do you think I can make this with stevia?
    I usually use stevia so I would like your opinion.
    Thank you very much.

    1. Thank you for your comment!
      To your questions:
      1- xylitol has around 2,4 calories per gram (sugar has 4). That’s why I calculated around 17 kcal. per tablespoon of this xylitol simple syrup.
      2- I haven’t tried making syrup with stevia for a couple of reasons: first, many brands have a taste I don’t personally enjoy. Then, other brands that taste more neutral contain erythriol on different proportions, so I though it may be difficult to replicate in other countries (plus, I still haven’t got good results with making syrup with erythriol).
      Lastly, there is already stevia in liquid form, so there’s the possibility of sweetening cold drinks with stevia without the need of cooking.
      I hope this helped!

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