So, you want to make a citrus and vanilla simple syrup, eh? Good, because they compliment cocktail creations (especially with rum) very well. Not too unlike our vanilla simple syrup, we will add an orange nuance to the sugar syrup. Here is the recipe we suggest:
- 1 vanilla pod (or two teaspoons of vanilla extract)
- 1 cup (8 oz.) of water
- 1 cup (8 oz.) of white sugar
- 1 orange (we suggest valencia orange)
Zest your orange, being careful not to include any of the white pith between the flesh and the skin (it’s pretty bitter). Add the vanilla pod, citrus zest, sugar and water into a pot and turn on your burner to bring to a boil. Juice your skinned orange into the sugar water. Stir mixture to keep the sugar from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. Once the sugar dissolves into the water (and becomes clear), turn down your heat to a modest simmer for 12 to 15 minutes.
If you do not want to reduce the water too much within your syrup, you can leave to simmer for five minutes, then remove the pot from heat for 20-30 minutes.
Let cool and then strain the syrup into a glass jar or other syrup container with a coarse strainer to remove zest and vanilla pod. You’re done!
If you plan to create any other vanilla extracts or syrups you can plan ahead and split the vanilla pod, extract the seeds and save them for your next project. However, you may get more vanilla flavor utilizing the entire pod in your heating process. Or, simply use 2 tsp of vanilla extract if no pods are available (or you don’t want to spend additional money on vanilla pods–they’re not cheap!)
You should get 1 to 2 weeks out of your orange vanilla simple syrup, we often times get much more. To increase storage time, add 1/2 oz. of vodka to your mixture before putting it into the refrigerator for storing. You can also double your white sugar (or half your water) to create a thicker rocky candy simple syrup for the base.