What is Liquid Sugar?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Liquid sugar is a product that is created using a mixture of a liquid such as water mixed with white or brown sugar. There are commercially produced versions available for use in the home as well as in restaurants. It is possible to use this material for many of the same tasks that normally call for table sugar, such as sweetening drinks.

Brown sugar may be mixed with water to create liquid sugar.
Brown sugar may be mixed with water to create liquid sugar.

In creating liquid sugar, it is possible to use several different types of sugar. The main requirement is that any sugars used to create sugar water or liquid sweetener is that the granules of sugar will dissolve completely in the liquid. This means it is possible to use white sugar, brown sugar, or even sugarcane derivatives to make the liquid. Even sugar alternatives that are formulated to dissolve in liquids can be used to create a low calorie alternative.

Liquid sugar may be used to sweeten coffee.
Liquid sugar may be used to sweeten coffee.

While homemade liquid sugar will use common products like granulated white sugar and packed brown sugar, many of the commercial products will use a specific balance of glucose and fructose products in order to create a viable product. This often yields a product that is actually sweeter than regular table sugar. Along with the sugar compounds, commercially produced versions usually contain various preservatives to retain freshness and color for a longer period of time.

Liquid sugar may be used as a dressing on raw vegetables.
Liquid sugar may be used as a dressing on raw vegetables.

These commercially produced versions of liquid sugar can be substituted for white or brown sugar in a number of recipes. In addition, the product may be offered in restaurants as an alternative way to sweeten coffee or tea. Because the liquid sweetener is much sweeter than regular white sugar, only a small amount of the liquid is required to achieve the same level of sweetness in any beverage.

Some cooks use liquid sugar when making baked goods.
Some cooks use liquid sugar when making baked goods.

Around the house, it is possible to create liquid sugar by dissolving table sugar into a small amount of water or milk. It is not unusual for cooks to use this approach when creating dough for baked goods or as a means of creating sweet dressings to serve on raw vegetables. As with the commercial products, homemade liquid sugar can also be created using any type of artificial sweetener that will dissolve completely in liquid. However, it should be noted that not all artificial sweeteners work well in hot liquids, and may not produce a liquid sweetener that would be suitable for use in coffee, tea, or other hot drinks.

Liquid sugar may be used in small amounts to sweeten homemade juices.
Liquid sugar may be used in small amounts to sweeten homemade juices.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


I have made this many times. It will keep indefinitely in the fridge, which works perfect for people making their tea a little more sweet, just in case I didn't. No big deal about the differences between glucose and etc. I use "plain white sugar & water". Heat it up, pour into a bottle, and that's it.


@#8: Your statement demonstrates a lack of understanding of the differences among sucrose, glucose, and fructose and a complete lack of knowledge of the laws about food labels.


Liquid sugar as listed on product labels usually is a sneaky way of listing high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener which is highly controversial, though personally I believe the independent researchers over the industry's mouthpieces.


I just made this simple syrup recipe for my mom, who loves sweet tea. It's amazing. I'm definitely making it again.


I want to make liquid sugar. Please tell me the process of making liquid sugar.


I would like to know whether corn sugar may be used in the making of "liquid sugar"? It is extremely difficult as things are to avoid genetically modified products, and passing corn sugar, or corn syrup, off as "liquid sugar", albeit mixed with cane sugar, would add another layer of confusion for the wary consumer.


can liquid sugar also be used as a substitute of sugar in confectionery items? like for lollipops?


The article stated that liquid sugar can be substituted for regular sugar in many recipes. Can I substitute honey equally for sugar in most recipes too?


@anon89438- That was my impression too. Maybe for commercial purposes the process of making simple sugar is a little different.

I actually use simple syrup all the time. I have become an at home barista because I can't bring myself to pay $5 a day for a few shots of espresso in milk. To make the simple syrup, I heat two cups of water to just off boil. I take the hot water off the stove, mix in 4 cups of sugar with a whisk, and finish it off with a teaspoon of vanilla extract. You could use any extract you want, but the sugar to water ratio produces the perfect sweetness for flavoring coffee. One batch lasts the two coffee drinkers in my house a month.

The money I saved on preparing my own coffee drinks more than makes up for the time that I spent preparing it, the cost of buying an espresso machine, and the cost of buying high quality coffees. My drinks taste much better too, and they are always how I want them.


Isn't that simple syrup?

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