Vanilla in cocktails can add an elegantly sweet note that takes a drink from good to great. High quality vanilla beans can be a bit expensive, but with this recipe, and the longer infusion time, you only need to use one bean. so I usually use only one bean, though you could use two. With the long infusion time suggested here, one bean usually makes a very flavorful syrup. Although you can use any type of vanilla bean you like, we have found that the Madagascar Bourbon vanilla bean variety tend to be superior, with flavor and aromatic qualities that make for a better dish and drink. The flavor is rich, dark and creamy with a sweet, floral, buttery scent.
Vanilla Simple Syrup
Makes 2 cups
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 vanilla bean
Bring the granulated sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan. Split the vanilla beans lengthwise into halves and place in a heatproof jar or bottle.
Pour the hot simple syrup over the vanilla beans, cover, and let stand for approximately 8 to 10 hours. After the liquid has cooled, remove the vanilla bean, strain through cheesecloth, bottle, and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Try this recipe for a frozen vanilla and cinnamon cocktail. Add 1/2 ounce of vanilla simple syrup and use high quality vodka, in lieu of the vanilla flavored vodka for a more flavorful cocktail recipe.
Want more vanilla? Infusions in spirits can be another unique way to use dried herbs and spices. Check out this recipe for cinnamon vanilla infused vodka.