Lemon Balm Simple Syrup

This versatile syrup will enliven any drink, especially a cold glass of tea or lemonadeMake the most of lemon balm, a lovely, versatile herb, by making the simplest of syrups in your kitchen this season. This simple syrup requires just three ingredients: water, sugar, and fresh lemon balm leaves. It's quick to make, too, and once you're done, you're left with a lovely, fragrant concoction that will add sweetness and citrusy aromatics to a glass of iced tea or lemonade. (It's also lovely stirred into a hot toddy in winter!) Simple syrup is an essential element in your kitchen or at your bar, and there are countless ways to customize it with infusions of herbs and unexpected flavors. (Try our recipes for sage simple syrup and basil simple syrup too.) Once made, you can store any leftover lemon balm simple syrup in the refrigerator as you would with any other homemade simple syrups. To use this tasty syrup, stir two to three tablespoons of it into your beverage or other recipe. It'll raise the refreshment factor exponentially.

Lemon Balm Simple Syrup
Photo: Ralph Anderson; Styling: Rose Nguyen
Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Stand Time:
30 mins
Chill Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs 40 mins
Makes about 1 1/2 cups


  • 1 cup sugar*

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh lemon balm leaves

  • Garnish: fresh lemon balm leaves


  1. Stir together first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let stand 30 minutes. Pour liquid through a wire-mesh strainer into a cruet or airtight container, discarding lemon balm leaves. Cover and chill 4 hours. Garnish, if desired. Syrup may be stored in refrigerator up to 1 month.

  2. *3/4 cup sugar/no-calorie sweetener may be substituted. For testing purposes only, we used Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking.

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