A few months ago, I posted about making some homemade cordials. At the time, I put together a quart-sized batch of both cranberry cordial and vanilla liqueur, which I set in the cupboard to steep for a while. Cordials, like wine, need time for the flavors to develop and mellow, and I have been waiting patiently for this process to occur. It's been two months, so I think I can at least sneak a taste test.
The cranberry cordial is the most forward of the two, from its vivid red color to its tart cranberry taste. While it is pleasant to drink, I'm going to wait another month to see if it mellows out a bit more. The vanilla liqueur, on the other hand, is sweet and smooth which just a hint of color from the vanilla beans. The beans give this such a great aroma that I loved drinking it straight, but I'm sure that it is equally tasty with a mixer. Between the two, the vanilla is the clear winner. I liked it so much that I'm going to share the recipe with you!
Adapted from Cordials from Your Kitchen
1.5 cups sugar*
1 cup water
2 whole vanilla beans
approx. 2 cups inexpensive, but clean tasting Vodka (I used Svedka)
Make a simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a pan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Once the sugar dissolves completely, take the pan off the heat, allowing the syrup to cool. Pour it into a clean, one-quart Mason jar, add in the vanilla beans, and fill to the top with Vodka. Put the lid on the jar and a store in cool, dark place for at least one month.
*Using the full 1.5 cups of sugar gives a fairly sweet liqueur. If I make this again, I will cut this down to 1 cup.