Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

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asked June 23rd 2015

Lemon Syrup shelf life

Hi, does anyone know for sure how long lemon syrup made for drizzling over cakes should last in the fridge? Many thanks.

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Hi suzyq

Depending on the strength of the syrup it should keep at least a month in the fridge in a sterilized bottle.
If you're using equal quantities sugar and liquid that time scale should be fine, just allow it to boil for two minutes rather than one boil. As with anything which has been stored, always check the contents before using. Hope this helps.

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I do make it how you say and I always boil it for longer than 2 mins to get a thicker consistency. It's been in the fridge for just over a month and still looks OK. I won't open it until tomorrow when I will need to use it so will give it a proper check first. Thanks as ever for your advice.

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You're welcome suzyq! Boiling the syrup for longer not only gives a thicker consistency but it also reduces the water content and helps further extend the shelf life. Less water. less microbial growth! The lemon reduces the risk of crystallisation.
I always add 40% proof alcohol to my syrups which also helps with shelf life. I know this is not always feasible for everyone.

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That interesting to know thank you! What sort of alcohol could you use then!

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Depends which flavour the cake is. Coffee and brandy syrup, lemon and lemoncello (keep an eye on the proof), vodaka which has no flavour so can be used with any citrus flavours. For the more summery cakes use Pinacolda, Bacardi, Malibu. Warmer flavours go for spicy rum with ginger cake, Benedictine with orange and also remarkably with chocolate! There are so many different flavoured liqueures which all make for interesting tastes and aromas.

When you next go shopping have a look at some of the dessert flavour pairings. Once you have an idea of what fillings you'll be using, the cake layers can be complemented with similar syrups. Little tip .... when using alcohol reduce liquid by the amount of alcohol to be used. Once the syrup has cooled right down, add the alcohol. This way the alcohol will retain it's full strenghth and not evaporate during the boiling process. Have a little play and see what you come up with! x

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Wow, not thought of any of these, you must have had fun trying them! As you say it depends what you have and also what you're willing to buy. I find most people are fairly conservative with their flavours as they want to cater for everyone but I will have to give some a go for ourselves first. Many thanks for your help.