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Two Easy Coffee Sweeteners You Can Make at Home

Two Easy Coffee Sweeteners You Can Make at Home

Words Erin Meister

Alternative ways to sweeten your coffee.

If you’re looking to cut back on processed sugar but still need a little of the edge taken off your morning brew, never fear: Making a small batch of sweet stuff is a breeze, and with ingredients like dates (high in certain B vitamins and iron) and honey (high in antioxidants), can even add a little extra zing to the start of your day.

Date Syrup

This natural sweetener captures the caramel notes of sweet dried dates and is a perfect complement to hot or iced coffee. It is thinner than honey but can be reduced for a slightly more viscous texture; it should be fine to use either way. The process of making it leaves behind a paste that can be mixed with finely chopped nuts and spread over toast or nibbled with cheese. Store the paste in a small OXO Smart Seal Container for freshness.

Tools for Making Date Syrup

Stainless Steel Pro 3.5 Qt Sauce Pan + Cover Stainless Steel Pro 3.5 Qt Sauce Pan + Cover Shop Now
OXO Chef's Squeeze Bottles -  2 piece set OXO Chef's Squeeze Bottles - 2 piece set Shop Now

Date Syrup

Ingredients

1 lb pitted, dried Medjool dates

4 cups water

Instructions

  1. Chop or cut the dates finely using either well-oiled kitchen shears or a sharp knife.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the date pieces and water to a steady simmer over medium heat and stir the mixture occasionally for 25–30 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand to cool slightly, 30–40 minutes.
  3. Using a food processor, blend the mixture until smooth, 2–3 minutes.
  4. To strain out the remaining solids, place two layers of fine-mesh cheesecloth in the sieve over a mixing bowl, and pour the puréed date mixture into the well of the strainers. To strain, pull the sides of the cheesecloth together to make a kind of ball, then squeeze and twist the mixture to extrude the liquid syrup.
  5. Using a small funnel, transfer the syrup into OXO Chef’s Squeeze Bottles for easy use; store the remaining date paste in a small OXO Smart Seal Container.
  6. The syrup and paste can be stored in the refrigerator for 3–4 weeks.
Lavendar Syrup-6

Honey Simple Syrup

While most simple syrups are made from white sugar, they can also easily be made with honey, which is normally a bit too thick to pour into something like iced coffee. Thinning out the goopy honey also allows you to add infusions or other flavors, which makes the syrup taste like a special occasion without necessarily overpowering the coffee drink.

Tools for Making Honey Simple Syrup

Stainless Steel Pro 3.5 Qt Sauce Pan + Cover Stainless Steel Pro 3.5 Qt Sauce Pan + Cover Shop Now
OXO Chef's Squeeze Bottles -  2 piece set OXO Chef's Squeeze Bottles - 2 piece set Shop Now

Honey Simple Syrup

Ingredients

8 ounces filtered honey

8 ounces water

1 cinnamon stick (optional), 1 start anise pod (optional), or 1 tsp lavender in a tea ball or small satchel/cheesecloth

Instructions

  1. To make the base syrup, gently heat water and honey in a small saucepan over medium-low, stirring until combined thoroughly. (To make an infusion, remove the honey syrup from the heat and add your flavoring spice, herbs, or florals. Let sit until cool, at least 20–30 minutes.
  2. Remove the flavoring element with a slotted spoon before transferring the liquid.) Once the syrup is cool, slowly transfer it to an OXO Chef’s Squeeze Bottle using a funnel.
  3. Store up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Want even more sweetness? We have two more ways to sweeten your coffee here.

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By Erin Meister

Erin Meister is a freelance writer for OXO. She is a specialty-coffee professional with 15-plus years as a barista, café manager, wholesale account representative, speaker, and educator; she currently sells green coffee for the Minneapolis-based importing company Café Imports. You can also hear her on weekly episodes of "Opposites Extract: A Debate Podcast about Coffee," available on iTunes.

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