How to Make Vanilla Syrup From Scratch
A Vanilla Syrup Recipe (and an additional cocktail recipe to use it in)
My mind is boggled by the fact that the word, “vanilla”, is often used synonymously with, “plain”. I see absolutely nothing plain about real vanilla beans, with their rich aroma and spectacular vanilla flavor—they add a culinary shimmer to every recipe graced by their gritty, black, inner-greatness. Take simple syrup, for example. “Simple”, another synonym for plain that can be deceiving. Simple syrup is great for improving everything from beverages to baked goods. But adding vanilla beans will bring your recipes to a whole new, glamorous level.
Here’s a vanilla syrup recipe to prove that simple syrup doesn’t always have to be so “simple”.
Vanilla Syrup Recipe
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups unbleached granulated sugar
- 3 large Madagascar vanilla beans (Bourbon vanilla beans)
- Cut the vanilla beans in half, lengthwise.
- Using the back of a paring knife, scrape the seeds (or “vanilla caviar”) out of your vanilla beans. It’s the seeds that will be used to infuse your vanilla syrup with that taste bud seducing flavor.
- Stir the water, sugar, and vanilla beans together in a small saucepan.
- Bring the mixture up to a boil, whisking periodically. Once the boiling point has been reached, turn the heat down to simmer and stir continuously until the sugar has completely dissolved and the syrup is thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool.
- Once your mixture has cooled, use a funnel to pour it into your desired jars.
- Sit back and admire your homemade vanilla syrup!
Now that you have a gorgeous amber-colored simple syrup recipe infused with Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans. You might be wondering to yourself:
What can I make with vanilla syrup?
I’m glad you asked! Vanilla syrup is capable of lending a sweet, vanilla flavor and gorgeous aroma to anything it is added to. Some of my favorite uses for vanilla syrup include drizzling a small amount over fruit (think strawberries or peaches and cream) and gussying up my daily cup of joe. But, why stop there? I’ve created a lovely, refreshing cocktail inspired by vanilla simple syrup.
A refreshing summer rum cocktail made with vanilla syrup, blueberries, basil, and lemon.
- 8 blueberries
- 5 fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon lemon Juice
- 2 ounces light rum
- 2 tablespoons vanilla syrup
- Soda water to fill
- Additional basil and blueberries for garnishing
- Place the basil, lemon juice, blueberries, and ice in a cocktail glass (old-fashioned, highball, or Collins work well).
- Muddle ingredients until blueberries and basil are well-crushed.
- Add the rum and vanilla syrup and stir.
- Fill with soda water.
- Float a couple of whole blueberries on top and garnish with a basil leaf.
And just like that, you’ve got a vanilla syrup and a summertime cocktail that will knock the socks off your guests! What other uses can you think of for your homemade vanilla syrup?