Over the last 2 years i`ve been making so many different syrups, all from simple, demerara, all kind of spiced to bellpepper or kaffirlime syrups but never for some reason did i make gomme syrup. I read about how to make it long ago written by Paul over at Cocktail Chronicles. What interests me with gomme and made me now finally make it is its viscosity. Its said to lend a silky mouthfeel and is especially suited for the old school cocktails like for instance the Sazerac.

When making syrups i used to only heat up the water and sugar to get it to dissolve but i have changed my mind concerning this. I discovered that sometimes after a time some of the syrups got moldy. It didn´t happen too often and i use them up fairly quick but it did happen. Now i have learnt that one important thing when making syrups is that it should be properly boiled for 2 minutes. If boiled to long it will become caramel and if not sufficiently boiled it will after some time become apt to mold. Another important thing is to use a good quality sugar, the better sugar the better syrup.

I didn`t find any gum arabic powder but i found it in the form of small “crystals” or “stones” that looked almost like amber, very beautiful indeed. I threw them into my sturdy thai mortar and started to beat the hell out of them, (they are very hard) to finally get them pulverized.


2 oz gum arabica powder

2 oz hot water

( but i added an extra 0.5 oz water)


I used the recipe from Pauls site and mixed 2 oz of the gum powder with 2 oz hot water plus an extra 0.5 oz i threw in, and then i putted that aside, stirring occasionally while i cooked my dinner meal. After some 20 min or so i took a look at it and it was all dissolved and turned into a brown sticky “soup”. Curiously i took a teaspoon to taste just a little and i can´t say the flavor was very nice but oh what a mouthfeel, pure silk.


So now when that was done it was time to make the syrup, i first used 7 oz white sugar and 1 oz raw sugar to 4 oz water and brought to a light boil for 2 min. Then i added the gomme and mixed it all together and made another tasting.

The weird flavor from the pure gomme was now mixed into the syrup and i think it actually does give a bit of flavor to the syrup, or rather a sort of warmness. The mouthfeel is amazing, its very viscous, and it really is like silk. I can´t wait to try this gomme in cocktails both old and new to see how it differs from simple syrup because differs it does even though of course simple syrup is an acceptable substitution for gomme.  I`ve had commercial gomme before but it wasn`t like this homemade syrup. The gum arabic used with a simple syrup acts as an emulsifier and it was used to keep the sugar from crystallizing. At the same time it lended a silky texture to the cocktails. I really like this texture and as soon as i can get some Peychauds bitters i`m going to make a Sazerac, but for now i make another drink.


2:1 simple syrup

8 oz white sugar ( i also added 1 oz raw sugar)

4 oz water ( here i also added one extra oz)


As you can see i often tweak the recipes a bit to my liking but that´s not really nessecary. Usually when i make simple syrups i tend to prefer the 1:1 formula to the 2:1 simply because when they get cold in the fridge it slows the pour. But this gomme syrup i wanted to make more like a 2:1 syrup even though i added an extra ounce water.


The food grade gum arabica is a natural gum made of hardened sap taken from two species of the acacia tree; Acacia senegal and Acacia seyal. It is used primarily in the food industry as a stabilizer, but has had more varied uses in the past, including viscosity control in inks.

Currently over 70% of the world’s supply of Gum Acacia is produced and exported by the Sudan. Other major supplying areas are Chad and Nigeria and in small quantities from mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Niger. The uses of gum arabica dates back some 5000 years to the time of ancient Egypt

The gum is only produced by trees that are in an unhealthy condition as gum yelds are improved by such natural factors like poor soil, hot weather, lack of rain etc.lessening the vitaly of the trees. Larger yelds of gum are actually produced by trees that are damaged and thus the bark is stripped from a tree and later the workers returns to remove the tears of gum formed in the wound of the scars. Within 3 – 8 weeks, the gum will start to collect in the wound. A young tree will yield 400 – 7000g annually.



Sugarcane bar

27 Replies to “GOMME SYRUP”

  1. Hi All,

    I haven’t made a Gomme Syrup myself, but I can tell you the following which I do while making my own sugar and honey syrups. If you add 1/2 an oz of 151 or similar proof rum or GNS you will “fix” your syrups by making them poison for the molds that seem to grow in them, I would not add booze unless you have 20 oz at least or you will get into something you can taste in terms of the spirit you are adding.

    Additionally at least in the US and specifically the San Francisco area there is a company called Small Hands that makes a variety of high quality hand made syrups. I have purchased their Orgeat, Gomme, and Pineapple Gomme syrups. They make a tonic syrup and grenadine if I recall as well.

    They should be online.

    My understanding of sugar syrup naming is the following:

    1:1 is a simple syrup
    2:1+ is a “rich” simple syrup or rock candy syrup.

    The higher the sugar:water ratio the more inhospitable the syrup is to bacteria, and thus will survive longer and/or be shelf stable (much like honey, a thick syrup is a poison environment)

    If you go much above 2:1 you will get eventual crystallization from over-saturation at room temperature and that is the “rock candy” mentioned and sold to kids.

  2. This is what i did, like it said in the post – 2 oz of the gum powder with 2 oz hot water plus an extra 0.5 oz i threw in, so all in oz.

    So it´s equal parts powder to liquid really.

  3. I have just bought some ground gomme powder and I am ready to set out making some syrup. I am just wondering if the liquids in the recipe are measured in fluid ounzes and the gomme powder ( the solids ) in weigh ?


  4. Bitoffinger – mine didn´t get as viscous as you explain, but it got thick.I think it goes in all kinds of cocktails, i need to try it more. It´s time i make another batch but i`m also pondering making pineapple gomme too while i`m at it.

    Jaybird – your comment is very valuable! when i made that batch i didn`t use any alcohol, i don´t know if it´s needed or not but i used up my syrup fairly quick.

  5. I’ve just made another batch of gomme syrup, but it’s been a long time since I last made it and there are some things about how I used to make it that I’ve had trouble remembering.

    I got a pound of the powder for $25 which I’ve used half of so far. I can’t recall exactly how I mixed the gum and the simple syrup together in the past, but the “scum” or “foam” on the top that everyone always says to skim off, is really nothing more than gum that hasn’t dissolved yet. I would let it sit out overnight (not in the fridge) and it would always clarify. Once I put it in the fridge, and it didn’t clarify because if it’s too cold and viscous it retards the dissolving. Anyway, I can’t remember exactly how I combined the simple syrup and the pasty gum/water/air concoction, but this time it did NOT dissolve very well. Even after heating it a second time last night, today I seemed to be in no better shape than I was yesterday. After 48 hours I finally decided to add the alcohol early, (basically adding another solvent to help the gum finish dissolving) and that has done the trick, but in the past I’ve always waited to add the alcohol until after I’ve bottled it.

    I think the way I made it last time was to not separate the water, but to merely make the simple syrup with all the water, bring it to a simmer, and then turn off the burner and sift in the gum arabic while it’s still hot, stirring as you go, and then cover and let it stand overnight. I wish I could find granules like what’s pictured above, as the powder seems like it’s probably more difficult to work with, having to be careful to avoid lumps (which is practically impossible). I know that’s not how everyone says to make it, but I’m now pretty sure that’s the way I made it last time and it worked out better, not to mention easier and faster than the standard instructions. I wish I’d remembered that before I started this batch.

    Anyway, gomme syrup instead of simple syrup has made every cocktail I’ve tried it in better. It’s like the added viscosity coats your tongue and so you taste each sip better and for longer. Yum.

  6. Exactly how viscous is this stuff for you guys? It’s so thick for me that it coats the jigger when I pour after measuring … and that’s when its relatively warm. I made it to use specifically with a Pisco Punch; what else does it work really well in?

  7. After a little research, turns out the easiest place to find gum arabic powder, aka acacia powder, is in the fiber section of the health food store. They had a couple brands, but both are 100% soluble acacia powder. Used it to make gomme syrup, and it worked great.

  8. I purchased Gum Arabic from mountainrose.com at a great price and it was already in powder form.

  9. Kim, that sounds quite interesting!

    Theo, i can very much believe it won`t do well in coffee..but in certain cocktails yes!

    Brosty, I think i`ve heard of commercial gum syrup before but i don´t know where to find it and certainly its not in my country.But its not that hard to make..it just look so;-)

  10. Can I buy pre-made gum syrup? Are there companies that make it? I’ve searched all day and can only find a recipe.

  11. Hello Kim,

    I have used it to make gomme syrup.
    I’ve used the gum Arabic in powder (has a white towards light greyish color) with water to dissolve it.

    The taste is a little malty if I can describe it this way, and the texture is velvety.
    I used this syrup in lots of beverages to taste it.
    It is good for some and not for others.

    I used it for cocktails and the results had good texture and used in coffee too but I think my coffee ended being very watery in the mouth feel.

  12. I am an artist and use gum arabic in a liquid form for various applications. Has anyone used the liquid gum arabic for making gomme syrup?

  13. Hello all.
    Basic difference between cold and hot process is the glucose/fructose.
    If you heat your simple syrup it will result in a high glucose syrup.
    High in glucose syrup with alcohol is not very good because in will amplify the flow of alcohol in the blood stream
    to put it simply, it will get your customers drunk faster. Obviously you do not want that for two reasons: social alcohol rensponsibility and lesser sales….
    Unless of course you bartend in a place with Jagermeister shot contests 😉

    There is a story of Trader Vic and a bet he once put with two mafia guys who claimed they could drink more than two zombies. Trader Vic added glucose to his zombies and the two mafioso hit the floor by the time they finished their second zombie. A little story just to indicate glucose vs fructose effect

  14. ChiChi, let me know how it turns out for you. If you find the powder it should save you a step.

    And just like Alchemisteorge said, you should find easily online.

    As for making versus buying the syrups,i enjoy making syrups – no i`m a bit addicted to it…but i`m actually for both.

    I use them up quick and make small batches so they go fast but buying syrups is not bad either, for example, Trader Tiki makes some awesome syrups and they are sold online at http://www.tradertiki.com

  15. you know it might stop the mold problem if you buy the simple syrup portion of the recipe. I know its sacrilege, but it will have preservatives in it. Stirrings makes a good one.

  16. I have never seen gum arabica in that chrystal form before, only the powder.I haven`t tried to make gum syrup yet but after reading this i get inspired!

  17. Chris, i found these gum chrystals in our Indian shop among all the spices:-)

    I`ve never yet made rock candy Rick, but i think there`s some description as to how to make it around the TC threads. Yes, you supersaturate it.Got to try it someday, it would be interesting.
    I wonder if the flavor of rock candy is any different from simple or is it only the viscosity?

  18. Oh, I was thinking of rock candy syrup! Have you ever made that one? That’s where you saturate the solution with as much sugar as it will take, right?

  19. Great post T! I’ve only ever found the powdered gum arabic around here for the handful of times I’ve made Gomme.

    As for cold vs. hot, some people (especially on eGullet) purport that they can taste a difference between cold-process & heat-process simple; they claim the heat imparts a “cooked” flavor.

    I don’t generally boil my syrups though – but I do use heat to get them to dissolve quickly – no more than a simmer usually. Then again batches of simple don’t hang around for long on my end…

  20. Frederic,is it that gomme syrup more than simple syrup is prone to mold? even if you boil the syrup to the right point?

    Rick, that which you have read..i think i recognize it, isnt it from TC? i think it was about making rock candy syrup?

    As for the cold process, it was so long ago i made it that i don´t remember but i should make it again just to compare. Why do they swear by the cold-process, what makes it better? apart from being quick and simple of course.


  21. Tiare, Super interesting post! I’ve read before that gomme syrup can also be made by getting the sugar solution to its saturation point by heating it extremely slowly in a jar half-submerged in water. You keep adding sugar until it can’t anymore. I’d imagine this would be insanely sweet, though.

    There are so many cocktailians out there that swear by a cold-process method for their syrups. Do you find a huge difference in mouth-feel and flavor between cold-process, just heating to dissolve, and boiling for 2 minutes?

  22. We splurged and bought powderized gum arabic to make ours (costs a bit more but for the size I purchased, it wasn’t too much more). It’s well worth bottling it in several sterile bottles since mold will grow in them and it minimizes the frequency of the chore of making the batches. Cheers!

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