In this vanilla lemonade, the vanilla rounds out the tartness of the lemon and is an amazing classy twist to regular old lemonade.

Thirsty? Good thing because I made you lemonade.

Vanilla Lemonade l SimplyScratch.com

It’s been real real hot these past few days and nothing quenches my thirst like an ice cold glass of lemonade.

I was emailed this recipe from a SS reader named Kristin. She sent me her recipe for vanilla lemonade last week and I was pumped. It was my first time ever hearing of vanilla lemonade and I was beyond excited to make her recipe.

In her email she said she thought using real vanilla beans could be amazing and would love to see my spin on it… and that’s just what I did.

Out with the vanilla extract… and in with the bean.

This recipe actually is pretty darn easy. Sure you dirty a few dishes… but it will leave your house smelling amazingly like fresh lemon and a cozy vanilla so you won’t even mind the sink-full of dishes. These definitely are two flavors I’ve never thought of pairing together for a beverage… but in my gut I knew it would work and my gut never lies.

Next on my list is to steep a little lavender in there… bada-boom-bada-bing.

Start by splitting your vanilla bean entirely in half and scraping out the seeds with the back of your knife.

Into a small sauce pan add the cup of sugar and the three strips of lemon rind. There is no pith attached to the peel, I just simply used a vegetable peeler to peel off the strips.

Add in a pinch of salt

Next, add in the scraped vanilla beans and the whole pod into the pot with the sugar and lemon peel.

Lastly to make the simple syrup you’ll need to pour in a cup of water.

Bring the everything up to a boil.

Once the sugar has dissolved reduce the heat and let it gently simmer for 5-10 minutes to bring out as much of that lemony-vanilla-ness as possible. Stir occasionally and remove the simply syrup from the heat…

I then lined a large measuring cup with some cheesecloth secured by a rubber-band and poured the simple syrup through to catch the lemon peel, vanilla pod and the majority of the seeds.

Some will pass through but it’s okay.

Let the syrup cool, I sped up the whole process by sticking the measuring cup in a large bowl and packed ice around it.

In the meantime I juiced about 8 lemons or about a cup to a cup and a half of juice and strained the juice in a mesh strainer to catch the pulp and seeds.

Because I didn’t have a bowl or pitcher large enough to do it all in one big batch. So I split the 8-10 cups of water, the lemon juice and the syrup evenly among two large pitchers and gave them a good stir.

Into a serving pitcher add a few slices of lemon. It might be a good idea to pick out any seeds you find in the slices.

Vanilla Lemonade l SimplyScratch.com

It really smells heavenly!

Vanilla Lemonade l SimplyScratch.com

Finally, pour the vanilla lemonade over ice and serve with a twist of lemon.

Vanilla Lemonade l SimplyScratch.com

The vanilla rounds out the tartness of the lemon which is an amazing classy twist to regular old lemonade. Now all I need is the entire Shades of Grey series. And maybe some bon bons and then my summer is ready to begin. Like ASAP.

Thank you Kristen for sending me you’re recipe! I enjoyed it until the last drop!

Enjoy! And if you give this Vanilla Lemonade recipe a try, let me know by snapping a photo and tagging me on twitter or instagram!

Vanilla Lemonade l SimplyScratch.com

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Vanilla Lemonade
Yield: about 12 cups

Vanilla Lemonade

In this vanilla lemonade, the vanilla rounds out the tartness of the lemon and is an amazing classy twist to regular old lemonade.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 3 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

FOR THE SIMPLE SYRUP:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 slices of lemon peel
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 generous pinch of kosher salt
  • cheesecloth, to strain syrup

FOR THE LEMONADE:

  • juice of 6-8 lemons, strained
  • 8-10 cups of water
  • 1 cup of vanilla/lemon syrup
  • Lemon slices to garnish

Instructions

  1. Slice the vanilla bean in half and with the back of your knife scrape out all the seeds.
  2. Bring sugar, water, vanilla bean and pod, lemon peel and salt to boil on your stove.
  3. After sugar dissolves I gently simmer mine 5-10 minutes to really get the lemon peel flavor in there.
  4. Remove from heat, strain through a few layers of cheesecloth set over a large measuring cup and cool. You can speed up the process by placing the measuring cup in a large bowl surrounded by ice.
  5. Once the syrup has cooled; add it to a large pitcher along with the 8-10 cups of water and strained lemon juice. Garnish with a few lemon slices.
  6. Pour in a tall glass over ice and sip.
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