Vanilla beans, lemons, and herbs make wonderful syrups, liqueurs, and extracts when combined with simple syrup or vodka. Use these recipes to get started. The hardest part will be waiting for the infusions to age.
Makes about 1 cup.
7 Frontier Organic Vanilla Beans, split lengthwise or chopped (about ½ cup)
8 fluid ounces plain vodka, minimum 70 proof
To obtain a variety of flavored extracts, substitute any of the following for the vanilla beans: ½ cup fresh lemon or orange rinds, dried coconut flakes, skinless chopped almonds, anise seed, peppermint or spearmint leaf.
Tip: To speed up the process considerably, double the amount of beans, chop them finer, and shake the jar more often.
Makes about ¾ cup.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup filtered spring water
Herb of choice:
3 fresh basil sprigs
4-5 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lavender buds
2 fresh rosemary sprigs -or-
3 fresh thyme sprigs
The syrup will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Makes about 3 cups.
12 fluid ounces plain vodka
1 cup sugar
1 cup filtered spring water
Substitute almost any citrus, like oranges, for the lemons.
Infusions make beautiful (and useful) hostess gifts. Pour into a decorative bottle, secure with a tight lid, tie with a ribbon and add a thoughtful note.