Homemade Vanilla Simple Syrup is a sweet and fragrant syrup made with vanilla beans, sugar, and water and can be added to all kinds of beverages or desserts.
Vanilla simple syrup is a versatile and delightful ingredient that adds a touch of sweetness to cocktails, iced tea, or lemonade. Made with a combination of sugar, water, and vanilla bean, this syrup is easy to prepare at home.
Its versatility makes it a must-have in any kitchen. Drizzle it over pancakes or waffles, let it soak into a cake for moisture and depth of flavor, or sweeten your morning latte.
How Much Sugar to Use
The ratio of sugar to water in simple syrup is typically 1:1, meaning that equal parts of sugar and water are used to make the syrup. That is what we will be using for this aromatic vanilla syrup.
However, some recipes may call for a different ratio, such as 2:1 (two parts sugar to one part water) for a thicker, sweeter syrup or 3:1 (three parts sugar to one part water) for a more concentrated syrup. The ratio can also be adjusted based on personal preference for sweetness.
Don’t fret if you’re on a low-sugar diet. You can substitute the sugar with allulose, erythritol, or swerve. I make it with allulose when I’m on a keto diet. That’s the best substitute for me because it’s a 1:1 replacement for sugar. Erythritol and Swerve both have their own “sweetness level” so you’ll have to experiment with how much to put in.
What Are Vanilla Beans?
There are several different types of vanilla beans. The most commonly used type is Bourbon vanilla, which is grown in Madagascar and other Indian Ocean islands. Bourbon vanilla beans are known for their rich, creamy flavor and aroma. These are the type we use here but you can use any of them.
Another popular type is Tahitian vanilla, which is grown in Tahiti and other South Pacific islands. Tahitian vanilla beans are slightly smaller than Bourbon beans and have a more floral and fruity flavor. Mexican vanilla is another type, which is grown in Mexico and has a smooth, spicy flavor. Other types of vanilla beans include Ugandan, Indonesian, and Indian vanilla, each with their own unique flavor profiles.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Yep, just 3 ingredients!
- Vanilla bean – You can find vanilla beans at the grocery store or specialty market. You can also get them here.
- Granulated sugar – Read more up above for using a sugar substitute.
Steps to Make Vanilla Simple Syrup
Slit the vanilla bean down the center the long way with a sharp knife. Scrape out the soft insides that will look like little black specs.
And the soft insides and the empty bean pod into a pot with the sugar and water. Cook over medium heat stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
Strain through a fine mesh sieve and discard the vanilla bean pod. It should always be thoroughly chilled before using it. Store in an airtight jar for up to 1 month in the refrigerator.
Storing Vanilla Simple Syrup
This recipe makes about 8 servings of 1 ounce each. It’s unlikely you’ll be using that much all at once, unless it’s for a party or a large pitcher of lemonade. So it’s pretty common to have some left over.
That’s fine because this syrup can be kept for up to a month in the refrigerator it in an airtight container. Then you can get it out whenever you want to add some to a drink.
How to Use Vanilla Simple Syrup
The main thing we use flavored simple syrups for at home are drinks. We almost always have it in the refrigerator, so we can just add it to any drink we want. You can use it for any recipe that calls for plain simple syrup since the flavor is so mild.
We love to add it to our coffee ice cubes. In the summer you can add them to your hot or iced coffee for added sweetness that won’t water down your coffee flavor.
Vanilla simple syrup can add a touch of flavor to a pitcher of iced tea, sweeten a glass of summer lemonade, or enhance the complexity of a classic cocktail like an old fashioned. You will want to explore the endless possibilities of vanilla simple syrup to craft your perfect summer sips.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is vanilla simple syrup the same as vanilla extract?
They are not the same thing. Vanilla simple syrup is sugar and water cooked with vanilla beans to create a vanilla infused sweet syrup.
Vanilla extract is made from soaking vanilla pods in an alcohol mixture and is not sweet at all. Vanilla extract is commonly used in baking.
Does vanilla simple syrup need to be refrigerated?
Yes. To maximize the shelf life and inhibit bacterial growth, we recommend you refrigerate simple syrup. By refrigerating simple syrup, you can maintain its quality and ensure its freshness for an extended period.
Does homemade vanilla simple syrup go bad?
Like any other food product, vanilla simple syrup can go bad over time. If stored properly it can last for up to a month. Signs that vanilla simple syrup has gone bad include a change in color, a sour or off odor, or the presence of mold. If you notice any of these signs, it is best to discard the syrup.
Does vanilla simple syrup have real vanilla in it?
Yes, this recipe combines sugar, water, and vanilla bean. The inside of the vanilla bean is scraped out and added to the pot with the empty pod to achieve distinctive vanilla essence and flavor.
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Homemade Vanilla Simple Syrup is a sweet and fragrant syrup made with vanilla beans, sugar, and water and can be added to all kinds of beverages or desserts
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Slit the vanilla bean down the center with a sharp knife. Scrape out the soft insides, put both the vanilla seeds and the empty pod into a pot with the sugar and water, over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Store in an airtight jar for up to 1 month in the refrigerator.
When not mixing up delicious cocktails to enjoy on the patio with friends, Angela is busy writing about food and drinks for three popular food websites, and exchanging creative ideas on social media.