Quick Craft: Simple Vanilla Syrup

Food & Beverage



Syrup of ipecac is fun, but vanilla syrup is easier to make. In CRAFT Volume 07, we learned how to make vanilla extract. Now, let’s use that extract and take it to the next level!


Medium saucepan
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
1. Combine the water and sugar in your saucepan, and bring to a full boil.
2. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract.
4. Cool and pour into a container.
NOTE: If you make more than 1 batch, be sure to use a candy thermometer and boil to precisely 230º.
After cooling, the syrup can be poured into decorative glass containers found at thrift stores, garage sales, etc. Be sure your containers are sterilized, and follow proper canning procedures. I would not recommend “wide mouth” canning jars, as the sugar will crystallize on the glass threads, making the lid hard to remove.
For gifts, old glass containers that use corks work best. You can see the beautiful gold color through the glass, and the old bottle gives it character. After bottling and cooling, the top of the bottle can be sealed with wax. I prefer beeswax (you can even melt it with vanilla candle scent!), dipping the bottle top several times to build up a thick layer. You can also decorate the bottle in multiple ways, add a bow, make a decorative beaded string tie, even use “stained glass paint.”
Syrup can be made for pennies on the pint. And after all, handmade gifts are the best, so craft your own!
About the author:
Craig Clark is a talented maker and woodworker living and creating in lovely Sonoma County, Calif.

8 thoughts on “Quick Craft: Simple Vanilla Syrup

  1. Neveth says:

    Would this recipe work with say, peppermint? I love peppermint syrup in hot drinks but I can’t find it ANYWHERE outside the christmas season.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes, you can use any kind of extract you like. The amount of extract to use and will depend on quality and how strong / weak you would like your syrup. Be sure to use a food grade extract, not some kind of essential oil (unless its frood grade) you would find at a health food store. Make a small batch, and taste the finished product. if you find it needs more or less extract, add accordingly. Have fun! Craig

  3. thephantombloggerstrikes says:

    Syrup of ipecac is fun? I guess I missed something.

  4. Amanda Geidl says:

    Does this need to be stored in the refrigerator after being opened? How long is the shelf life outside of the refrigerator? I don’t know how to can, and I would just want to use it immediately. Ideas?

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at snowgoli@gmail.com or via @snowgoli.

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