Category Archive: Cocktails

Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup

This recipe is a staple in the 1840 Farm kitchen.  I always have it on hand in the refrigerator, waiting to be called into action.  With a small amount, I can add sweetness and incredible vanilla flavor to summer berries or cold drinks.

Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup is also my favorite way to sweeten cold drinks.  Using a simple syrup is the perfect way to sweeten and enhance iced coffee and iced tea in the summer without ending up with a pile of undissolved sugar in the bottom of your glass.

I like to use vanilla bean pods that have been used to make our homemade vanilla extract for this recipe.  After the pods have been used to make two batches of extract, they can be used to flavor this syrup or pastry creams and custards with excellent results.  I remove the pods from the cooled mixture but leave the vanilla bean specks in the syrup.  If you prefer a clear syrup, simply strain through a fine mesh strainer or piece of cheesecloth before storing it in the refrigerator.

Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean pod, split
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Split the vanilla bean pod lengthwise using a sharp knife.  Using the dull edge of the knife, scrape along the length of the inside of the pod to remove the thousands of beans inside.  Transfer the beans and pods to a small pot with the sugar and water.  Place all ingredients in a small pot and stir to combine.

Place the pot over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Simmer over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, approximately 5 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.  Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.

Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer if you would like it to be clear and free of vanilla beans specks.  The syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.  I like to store mine in a clean, repurposed bottle with a pourer spout in the refrigerator.


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/07/vanilla-bean-simple-syrup/

The Summer Solstice Cocktail

When I am trying to develop a new recipe, I happily take inspiration wherever I can find it.  In the case of this cocktail, I happened to find it in three places.  Lucky for you, I’ve combined them into one delicious, refreshing cocktail recipe just in time for your Fourth of July celebration.http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3719/9065963801_04570a669f_z.jpg

The first inspiration was the arrival of summer last Friday.  Since then, we’ve seen temperatures well into the 90s with oppressive humidity.  Apparently, Mother Nature wants to drive the point home:  summer is here!

A recent trip to a local favorite, GiGi’s York Beach, provided additional inspiration.  On my last visit, I was treated to a delicious cocktail they call the “Shiso Good”. Good was an understatement.  The combination of vodka, house made shiso syrup, and fresh lemon was divine.  If you’re looking for a little inspiration, you can see more of the amazing food and drink from GiGi’s in our Local Food Photo Gallery

Not to be forgotten is a book that I am currently reading.  Bitters:  A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All is a fascinating read for someone like me who can’t seem to get enough of the stranger than fiction history of the food on our dinner plates and drinks in our cocktail glasses.  I’m not alone in liking this book.  It was selected as a James Beard Foundation Book Award Winner and also won The IACP Cookbook Award.

So, picture me at the end of a hot and humid day, exhausted from the farm’s daily chores.  I was craving a refreshing, cold drink and thought of the crisp Shiso Good and the fresh ginger-lime simple syrup that I had made from a recipe in Bitters.  The possibilities seemed like a winner to me.

My husband is the resident mixologist here at 1840 Farm.  I get wild ideas about combinations and concoctions which he politely listens to and then goes about the creative business of transforming inspiration into a perfectly balanced libation.  Occasionally, he needs a second attempt to perfect one of our house made cocktails, but he mastered this one on the first try.

One sip and I knew that this would be my summer drink of choice.  Mr. 1840 Farm agreed.  This recipe was perfect and ready to share with the world.

I hope that you will enjoy what we aptly named The Summer Solstice all summer long.  If you’re find yourself still searching for your summer drink of choice, don’t despair.  We’ve got a few more recipes in development.  Yes, it will be a struggle to taste test them before sharing the recipes with you here, but I’ll soldier on.  It’s amazing the things that I’ll do in the name of researchl!

Ginger-Lime Syrup
adapted from Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 ounces ginger root, peeled and sliced into coins
zest from 1/2 a lime

Place all ingredients in a small pot and stir to combine.  Place pot over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Simmer over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Remove the pot from the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely.  Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer to remove any solids.  The strained syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.  I like to store mine in a clean, repurposed bottle with a pourer spout in the refrigerator.

Summer Solstice Cocktail
makes one generous serving (and one happy farmer)

We have made a non-alcoholic version of this drink for the farm kids who both gave it a thumbs up.  Simply substitute lemonade or carbonated water for the vodka depending on your preference.

2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce lime juice
1 1/2 ounce ginger-lime syrup
4 ounces lemonade

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice.  Shake until well mixed.  Strain into a glass with fresh ice and serve.  At 1840 Farm, we like to serve the Summer Solstice in a wide mouth mason jar.


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form. In a few seconds, you’ll be the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/the-summer-solstice-cocktail/