20 Popular Monin Syrups, Ranked Worst To Best

If you've ever visited a coffee shop outside of Starbucks, there's a good chance you've enjoyed a drink with Monin coffee syrup. Among companies selling syrups, it easily tops our list of favorites. Having spent a fair amount of time working with and enjoying different brands of syrups as a barista and at-home coffee lover, I was more than a little eager to sample the syrups Monin offers.

With a wide range of flavors available in the lineup, there's nearly anything you could hope for. Monin sent along many of its most popular flavors, ranging from the flavor of the year, ube, to crème caramel and even passion fruit. In my sampling process, I mixed the syrups with what made the most sense to highlight the syrup's flavors. From there, I ranked them based on how much I enjoyed the flavor, how accurately the taste represented the named flavor, and even the look it added to the drink.

Some recommendations are based on first-hand impressions of promotional materials and products provided by the manufacturer/distributor/etc.

20. Hot honey

I love hot honey on pizza and pasta, reveling in its unique flavor combination, so I was excited to incorporate it into a cocktail. Eagerly, I mixed it with gin and fresh lemon, hoping for a spicy Bee's Knees that would delight my palate.

Despite my high hopes, it was too spicy for my liking, overpowering the drink rather than enhancing it. This syrup became my least favorite of the Monin options I tried, failing to work for drinks as I had hoped. While hot honey remains a favorite on pizza, its syrup form just didn't hit the mark for cocktails, and I think it has everything to do with just how spicy it is. I expected this from Hot Honey, but this one went too far for my liking.

19. Ube

Ube is Monin's flavor of the year for 2024, a bright purple yam from Southeast Asia. Monin also sent instructions for a layered lemonade and iced tea drink, so I gave it a try, creating a visually stunning layered drink that caught the eye.

But when I mixed and tasted it, I was left a bit puzzled. The flavor was so unique that I couldn't quite place it. The syrup starts sweet but quickly morphs into an aftertaste that's hard to pin down — not quite yam-like, yet not like anything else, either. This syrup is a fun addition for those who enjoy unique flavors. I'm keen to experiment more with it to see if I can find a way to make it shine, but in my initial tasting, it didn't quite hit the mark.

18. Lavender

If you frequent Starbucks, you may have noticed that the spring menu has some new drinks that feature lavender flavors. At Starbucks, these lavender drinks come from a new lavender powder, and after trying these drinks many times, I was excited to try Monin's offering. The bottle offered a lavender lemonade as a recommended drink, and this seemed like a creative way to use lavender and give this one a try.

With its subtle purple hue, the full-force sugar version tasted very close to its sugar-free counterpart, but with a twist — I found the lavender flavor even lighter than expected. I hoped for a more pronounced floral presence, something that truly embodied the essence of lavender. A more robust floral note would elevate this syrup significantly.

17. Sugar free lavender

Initially skeptical of the sugar-free lavender syrup, I braced for the artificial sweetness that often accompanies sugar-free labels. To my surprise, after a few sips of sugar-free lavender lemonade and a direct comparison with its sugared counterpart, I found the two nearly indecipherable. The most noticeable divergence is the lighter color of the sugar-free version.

The sugar-free variant relies on sucralose (essentially Splenda) for sweetness. This detail might be necessary to note for some due to dietary preferences, but the fact that the two were so similar was nothing short of impressive. That said, this one did offer a little less purple color, definitely having a more pastel version of lavender — not crucial for those unconcerned with their presentation. Still, it may be necessary for some to stock a bar.

16. Natural zero raspberry

Like the lavender flavor, Monin sent two versions of raspberry so I could compare them. For each, I prepared raspberry iced tea, pouring an ounce of syrup into my glass of iced tea, per the recommendations provided on the bottles.

The Natural Zero Raspberry syrup, sweetened with stevia, packs a punch in the sweetness department, a characteristic trait of stevia-based products. My initial trial left my drink excessively sweet, suggesting that less syrup might offer a better balance. Despite this overpowering sweetness, I see potential in this syrup, especially for crafting a chocolate raspberry coffee drink, where the intense sweetness could complement the bitterness of coffee. However, the raspberry essence felt muted, lacking the full fruity vibrancy I hoped for.

15. Raspberry

The regular Raspberry syrup struck a pleasing balance between flavor and sweetness; like the natural version, it leaned more towards an authentic raspberry taste. This one stood out to me, especially when compared to the Natural Zero Raspberry option, capturing exactly what I miss in now retired — and entirely missed — Starbucks' raspberry syrup. Its subtle raspberry flavor complemented Arnold Palmer and classic iced tea beautifully, making it a versatile choice for various beverages.

While the raspberry syrup did capture that ripe berry taste, it, like the other raspberry I tried, lacked the juicy burst I admittedly sought in berry syrups. I feel there could be a balance between ripeness and juiciness. Despite this, a more genuine raspberry flavor and reduced sweetness made it a preferable option and one I could reach for when that raspberry craving calls. 

14. Vanilla

Too often, I see vanilla not getting the respect it deserves. Thankfully, Monin goes a different route with its vanilla. This syrup brings to mind the cozy warmth of toasted vanilla with a light, delicate, flavored sweetness. Even still, among the array of flavors I sampled, this one didn't quite stand out — it felt more understated, even a tad forgettable on its own.

While not the star of the show by itself, vanilla syrup helps create layered, exciting blends. It's the ingredient that doesn't dominate but enhances, making it perfect for experimenting with various combinations to achieve something extraordinary. It might not captivate alone, but its potential to elevate other flavors makes it a staple for any mixologist looking to craft distinctive beverages.

13. Hibiscus

I prepared the Jamaica Margarita listed on the bottle to try out the Hibiscus syrup. This mixture of rum, pineapple juice, lime, hibiscus syrup, and my favorite orange liquor, Cointreau, was delicious. I didn't include salt on the rum, but I think sugar on the rim may have made this one better, had I thought to include it.

This syrup added a light flavor to the margarita, making it beautifully colorful but milder than I had hoped. The combination of tequila and orange liqueur mostly overpowered the hibiscus, but its sweetness contributed nicely, ensuring the drink wasn't too strong. The color it added was truly stunning, making the drink a taste experience and a visual delight.

12. Desert pear

Following the margarita recommendations with tequila, lime, and lemon, I anticipated a burst of flavor as bright as the bottle. However, the syrup contributed more color than taste, falling short of the excitement it seemed to promise within the bottle.

Despite its lackluster flavor, desert pear's stunning color adds a dazzling visual element to drinks. It's perfect for enhancing presentation with its vibrant magenta hue, requiring only a tiny amount to achieve this effect. I probably could have used ½ ounce and still gotten that beautiful color. While it may not elevate the flavor profile as hoped, it brings an aesthetic upgrade to any cocktail. I wished for more flavor here, but I am willing to settle for a beautiful color.

11. Tiramisu

When I saw Monin was sending along its tiramisu syrup, I was thrilled. However, that glee has faded now that I've tried it. Unfortunately, this one doesn't live up to the expected flavor. Tiramisu should be a mix of chocolatey creamy goodness, and its coffee flavor comes through nice and bright, but the tiramisu flavor at work here just isn't strong enough.

It tasted fine in terms of enjoyment, but tiramisu has such an iconic taste, and the syrup lacked so much of what makes tiramisu great. I mixed it with iced coffee to ensure I got that coffee aspect I love in tiramisu, but perhaps it would work better when paired with some chocolate. The flavor here is too minimal to give tiramisu its real time in the sun, though I enjoyed it enough to place it this high on the ranking.

10. Toasted marshmallow

Toasted marshmallow syrup brought an aroma reminiscent of a Bath and Body Works candle, immediately setting a cozy, inviting tone. Paired with a blonde roast Califia cold brew and a touch of whole milk, it lent a delightful sweetness to the drink. However, similar to my experience with the vanilla syrup, it felt like something was missing — this time, chocolate.

A dash of mocha or chocolate seems like the perfect addition to round out its flavor profile. Monin's suggestion of a toasted marshmallow hot chocolate sounds like a hit, hinting at the syrup's versatile potential. While enjoyable in its own right, the toasted marshmallow flavor calls for more experimentation to unlock its full greatness and create a drink worthy of its name.

9. Crème caramel

The crème caramel syrup, which aims to capture the essence of a caramel-flavored crème brûlée, intrigued me from the start. It may not fully replicate the dessert's iconic taste, but it brings a delightful caramel flavor with a toasty edge — something different from your standard caramel syrup.

This syrup's creamy texture enhances coffee in a way that mimics creamer without actually being one. Although I added it to a drink with a fair amount of creaminess, I probably could have toned down the milk addition in favor of what the syrup offered. I've noticed, perhaps most notably with this syrup, that Monin offers something slightly different than expected, even in widely recognizable flavors. 

8. Strawberry rose

As a lover of strawberry lemonade, I was eager to make my own using this very interesting syrup. It is ultra thick and feels like a mix of a thick strawberry purée that baristas use and a traditional syrup.

With Strawberry Rose syrup, the floral notes hit first and felt a bit too strong, but after a few more sips, the strawberry flavor started to come through more. It's a good mix, but I'd go lighter than the bottle suggests. The bottle recommends using three-quarters of an ounce of syrup for an 8-ounce lemonade, but next time, I'll try just ½ ounce for a better balance. I also think this one would taste lovely made into a cold foam to top a mocha.

7. Caramel apple butter

Admittedly, I am not typically a soda drinker, so I was a little skeptical when the bottle for caramel apple butter recommended mixing this flavor with soda water. However, I gave it a spin — ever the adventurer — and I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

The Caramel Apple Butter syrup gave me strong Butterbeer vibes. The apple note was subtle, adding the right touch without dominating the taste. Mixing it with Fever Tree club soda was a delightful choice, giving a classic soda a delicious twist. This syrup seems perfect for crafting cozy milkshakes, too. It doesn't bring that crisp, fresh apple taste to the table; instead, it's more like the deep, comforting flavor of apples stewed and mulled on the stove for hours.

6. Green mint

The bright color of green mint syrup catches your eye, making it an instant standout, especially around St. Patrick's Day. While adding it to coffee might seem unusual, it transforms cold foam into something special.

Following Monin's Saint Paddy's Day treat recommended on the bottle's side, I mixed cold brew with the spiced brown sugar syrup, which works better when its boldness is dialed back a bit. The vibrancy of the green mint added a pop of color and a refreshing twist. I'm now curious about incorporating it into a green milkshake, imagining it would add both a visual and flavorful punch. It's fun all year, but most especially in March, when leprechauns and shamrocks abound.

5. Spiced brown sugar

The Spiced Brown Sugar syrup packs an extraordinary level of sweetness, stepping into a league of its own. It's so rich that I recommend sticking to plain milk as your creamer if you add it to coffee — this syrup alone brings more than enough flavor and sweetness. The subtle spice element sets it apart, offering a distinct experience compared to the usual brown sugar syrup.

This syrup demands attention; a small amount is all you need to transform a drink. Its robust sweetness and unique spiced twist make it a standout choice for anyone looking to add depth and intensity to their beverages. It's a reminder that sometimes, less is more, especially when the flavor is this impactful. 

4. Coconut

The coconut syrup had a perhaps expected but surprisingly authentic solid feel — it reminded me of the scent of coconut sun lotion, but in a pleasant way. It brought a playful, tropical vibe to my latte that I hadn't anticipated.

I kept it simple with just ½ ounce of syrup, finding that this amount offered the perfect level of sweetness without overpowering the drink. While I imagine it could pair wonderfully with mocha, the coconut flavor stood strong on its own, adding a delightful twist to my beverage experience. With the amount of sweetness going on here, I also think pairing this with a latte made with coconut milk would be enjoyable to drive home that tropical taste and feel. Coconut milk may be thin, so consider mixing it with regular dairy milk.

3. Pistachio

When I tried the Pistachio syrup, I was immediately struck by its almond-like aroma — a scent of which I'm quite fond. Given my less-than-enthusiastic feelings about Starbucks' pistachio drinks and flavor, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one.

It has that familiar almond taste, yet it's distinct, with a roasted quality that must be the pistachio coming through. This syrup far surpasses Starbucks' version in flavor, offering a more authentic and enjoyable experience. Its form as a syrup, rather than a milk-based sauce as it is at Starbucks, is also a plus, making it a great option for those who choose plant-based ingredients in their coffee rather than ones heavy in the dairy department. Starbucks' version also does not resemble almond, with a very mild overall feel, quite different from what Monin offers with this version.

2. Stone Fruit

Sampling the stone fruit syrup with Fever Tree soda water was delicious. The flavor name is a little vague, but the label explains that it's a blend of apricot, peach, and dark cherry. Pulling all of these stone fruits together, this syrup is a harmonious mix. The peach flavor shines brightly, complemented by the depth and sweetness of the cherry.

Its versatility stood out to me, showing potential for a wide range of uses in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. This syrup showcases the essence of stone fruits in a vibrant and profoundly satisfying way. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this one as much as I did, and its unassuming name could certainly go underappreciated as one of Monin's tastiest offerings.

1. Passion fruit

Tasting the passion fruit syrup was an "oh wow" moment — it was sweet, but the right kind of sweet, like eating a juicy fruit. I tried it in lemonade first, and it was great, but I'm already thinking about using it in cocktails, iced tea, or just with some soda water. It's perfect for adding a tropical twist to drinks, and I can see myself reaching for it repeatedly. It's got me brainstorming all sorts of drink ideas; it's more versatile than I thought. It's a great addition for anyone looking to jazz up their beverages with something special.

I didn't expect a fruity syrup to top my list of favorites, but it definitely surpassed all the other flavors I sampled. I fully expected it to be one of the coffee flavoring options, but this one is quite special. Don't count out the fruity ones when looking for the next syrups to add to your collection.


Embarking on a tasting journey with these Monin syrups, I was determined to give each one the spotlight it deserved. To do this, I crafted drinks specifically designed to showcase the unique flavor of each syrup. In most cases, it was a drink outlined on the side of the syrup bottle.

This systematic approach allowed me to fully appreciate the nuances of each taste, focusing on three key aspects: my enjoyment of the flavor, how well the syrup captured the essence of its name, and the visual appeal it added to the drink. Through this process, I tasted, assessed, and ultimately ranked each syrup, diving deep into the world of flavors that Monin has to offer.