Vanilla syrup is simply a syrup flavored with vanilla. Making it yourself is very easy and tastes significantly better than any of the commercial syrups I’ve tasted. There are a few different ways of making it, but this is the method I’ve found yields the best results. You’ll want to use the same sugar to water ratio as regular sugar syrup, but as you can see in the picture, we’re going bring our water to the boil for this one. Placing the vanilla in boiling water before adding sugar seems to bring out more of the vanilla flavor and gives it a lovely golden colour.
Once the water has reached the boil, split one vanilla pod for every 500 grams of sugar you intend to use, scrape the beans from the pod and place the beans and the scraped pod into the water (I’m using Madagascan Bourbon Vanilla pods here). Once they’re in, you can take the pot of water off the boil by tuning off the heat or removing the pot from the stove. Do not leave the water boiling too long as the constant evaporation will reduce the amount of water in the pot and your whole ratio of sugar to water will become too concentrated.
Pay attention to the vanilla you’re using as well. A hard and rigid vanilla pod means the pod is too old and you may as well get rid of it. Vanilla should be soft, shiny and have a very subtle sticky texture to it’s outer “skin”.
This is the time to add your sugar. Remember, you’ll want to go with the ratio of 1:1 sugar to water OR 2:1 sugar to water. I prefer a ratio of 2:1, for the same reasons mentioned in the post on How to Make Sugar Syrup. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, set the pot aside and allow the syrup to cool.
Once cool, strain the syrup through a filter to catch all the little bits of vanilla, leaving you with a full flavored, gold coloured syrup.
Decant the syrup into a clean, empty bottle and get ready to make drinks with an edge that no shop purchased syrup will deliver!