What is the Classic Syrup at Starbucks? (Plus Home Recipe)

Most of the Starbucks menu drinks come with default syrups or sauces. One of the core syrups at Starbucks is the classic syrup or simply classic.

This post explains what Starbucks classic syrup means and the drinks that get the classic syrup by default. We also guide you about the best flavors to pair with this syrup. Finally, we show you how to make the Starbucks classic syrup at home.

What is Classic Syrup at Starbucks?

The classic syrup at Starbucks is simply liquid sugar with no added flavor. It is regular granulated sugar that is dissolved in fewer parts of water. Starbucks’ classic syrup only sweetens a drink without adding any flavor. It has approximately 20g of sugar per pump.

The classic syrup is sweeter than regular simple syrup as Starbucks uses more sugar than water whereas simple syrup gets equal parts of sugar and water.

Jump to Recipe

Starbucks Drinks That Get Classic Syrup by Default

Currently, Starbucks drinks with the classic syrup by default include iced shaken espresso, iced coffee, matcha creme frappuccino, and strawberry creme frappuccino. However, you can add classic syrup to any drink when ordering.

Since the classic syrup does not flavor your drink, you are better off adding it to a drink that you do not want to mute its flavors. For example, plain iced coffee drinks such as iced Caffe Americano, cold brew, and iced espresso when you want to taste the complex flavors in straight iced coffee.

Cold drinks taste way better with classic syrup than hot drinks. See the secret menu iced coffees that you can order at Starbucks.

Best Flavors to Pair with Starbucks Classic Syrup

We already discussed that classic syrup is a great choice when you want to add sweetness without affecting the flavor of a drink such as plain coffee drinks.

The best syrups and sauces to pair with classic syrup are those that have a bigger flavor than sweetness such as mocha sauce, chestnut praline syrup, and apple brown sugar syrup. Classic syrup sweetens without weakening the flavor in such sauces and syrups.

Classic syrup is also great in iced tea drinks such as iced black tea. You can also add classic to matcha drinks for more sweetness as Starbucks matcha is already pre-sweetened.

Can You Order a Starbucks Drink Without Classic?

Yes, ordering a Starbucks drink with no classic simply means that there is no classic syrup in it. This means that by default, the drink comes with the classic syrup but you don’t want the syrup in it. When you order a drink with no classic, you can add your choice of syrup for free or have the drink with no sweetener at all.

Here is a short guide to substituting and adding syrups to a Starbucks drink.

Since classic normally comes in some iced coffee drinks, avoiding it is a great way to order a low-calorie cold coffee. See all the healthy cold coffees you can get from Starbucks.

What Does Classic Syrup Taste Like?

The classic syrup tastes like liquid sugar. It’s sweet with no flavor.

Is Classic Syrup the Same as Simple Syrup?

Yes, the classic syrup is the Starbucks version of simple syrup. It is simply a rich simple syrup that is thicker and sweeter than regular simple syrup. It has more grams of sugar per ounce than regular simple sugar.

Is Classic Syrup the Same as Cane Sugar?

No, the classic syrup is different from cane sugar. Liquid cane sugar has a deeper raw sugar taste and is not as sweet as the classic syrup. Cane sugar is made from turbinado sugar so it’s less processed than the classic syrup.

How to Make Starbucks Classic Syrup at Home

Starbucks classic syrup is thicker than regular simple syrup. To achieve the consistency of Starbucks classic, use a ratio of 1:1.25 in water and sugar respectively. Use filtered water to avoid strange flavors in the syrup.

Materials: Saucepan, measuring cup, an empty container with an airtight lid

Ingredients: One and a 1/4 cup of white sugar, 1 cup of water


Step #1. Add Water and Sugar to a Saucepan

Use a ratio of 1:1.25 for water and sugar respectively. A higher sugar ratio than 1:1 improves the shelf-life of this rich simple syrup.

Step #2. Place the Saucepan on a Stove on Medium Heat

Heat improves the solubility of water. So whereas you can make sugar syrup with cold water, it’s likely to be a watery syrup as most of the sugar will not dissolve.

Step #3. Stir the Mixture

Gently stir the mixture until all the sugar is dissolved. If you want a thicker syrup, continue heating the mixture to evaporate some of the water.

Step #5. Cool Down and Refrigerate.

Transfer the syrup into a different container and leave it to cool down. The best way to store the classic syrup is by keeping it in an airtight container in the fridge. The classic syrup will last up to a month in the fridge as compared to less than a week in the cabinet.

You can use your homemade classic syrup for pastries, coffee drinks, and teas. One of my favorite homemade iced tea drinks is iced guava white tea. See this simple home recipe for iced guava white tea here.

Starbucks Classic Syrup Homemade Recipe

Recipe by PatrickCourse: UncategorizedCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy, Beginner


Prep time


Cooking time






  • One and 1/4 cup of sugar

  • 1 cup of filtered water


  • Add water and sugar into a saucepan
  • Place the saucepan on a stove and turn it to medium heat
  • Stir the mixture until all the sugar is dissolved
  • Transfer the syrup into a cooling container
  • Refrigerate after cooling


  • Filtered water ensures that there are no odors or flavors in the syrup.
  • You are better off refrigerating the classic syrup as it can last up to four weeks in the fridge. You can also leave it outside in an airtight container but it will last less than a week.

Final Thoughts about Starbucks Classic Syrup

The classic syrup at Starbucks is a mixture of water and sugar with no added flavor. It uses a higher sugar ratio than simple syrup.

Starbucks uses the classic syrup iced coffee, iced shaken espresso, strawberry creme frappuccino, and matcha creme frappuccino by default.

Classic syrup pairs better with flavored syrups and sauces that have less sweetness and more flavor such as apple brown sugar, mocha, and chestnut praline.


Patrick is first a coffee lover and then a trained barista. His bucket list includes sky diving and sipping on Java in the Himalayas.

Recent Posts