{recipe} Raspberry Vanilla Syrup for your Cocktails, Mocktails, Lemonade, and More

I have a friend and I am very proud of her – because she is celebrating three years of being sober. For this special occasion, I wanted to make a very special non-alcoholic drink for all of us to toast with! I came up with a syrup infused with whole vanilla beans and juicy raspberries, and now I want to drink it with absolutely everything.

There are probably countless drinks you can make with this syrup, but for starters, I like it splashed in fresh lemonade, or in a non-alcoholic refresher made with sparkling water, a dash of Angostura bitters, and a squeeze of lemon. If you want to make it a cocktail, you could add vodka, bourbon, rye, tequila, rum–really, whatever your pleasure. It is also fabulous in a flute filled with champagne or sparkling cider, or even as a flavoring for a light lager. When you make a drink with this syrup, the vanilla seeds float to the top, which is a neat effect. And the color is just gorgeous.

I used two vanilla beans, because I have a cheap and high-quality source of vanilla beans right down the street from me, so I use them liberally. A quarter pound of vanilla beans is under ten bucks! You can order them online from Vanilla Saffron Imports and keep a big bag in your freezer, like I do. It feels incredibly decadent to have a big bag of plump vanilla beans in the freezer to use on a whim. And it sure beats paying an arm and a leg for an old dried out thing in a jar like you get at the supermarket.

RECIPE: Raspberry Vanilla Syrup
makes about 3 cups


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 whole vanilla beans
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen


  • Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and heat over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and turn off heat when sugar is melted.
  • Split vanilla beans lengthwise with a sharp paring knife. Scrape out seeds and add seeds and pods to sugar mixture. Add raspberries and smash with a whisk or potato masher.
  • Let sit off heat for at least 2 hours, and as many as 8 hours, to infuse the syrup with the flavors.
  • Pour everything into a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine strainer.
  • Decant into mason jars or tupperware and store in fridge. It will last in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.

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