Hey gang, Valkor here. For most folks around the US, Memorial Day signifies the start of summer, BBQing, heading to the beach or the tail end of a four day weekend. But for most of, including myself, it’s a day to remember those that have passed keeping the bad men away or to protect the freedoms we sometimes take for granted. So rather than think of the day as a way to “turn up”, why not lift a glass in honor of our fallen heroes. And with the help of the folks at Nielsen-Massey, who have sent our way a few drink recipes that involve their vanilla flavors to help with the celebration/day of reflection.
Message from Nielsen-Massey: “Memorial Day is a tribute to the servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives to defend our nation,” said Craig Nielsen, CEO of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Inc. “Nielsen-Massey Vanillas encourages Americans to spend quality time with friends and family, as a way to honor memories and make new ones.”
Instructions are easy to follow. The top recipe is how you make the syrup (what vanilla flavor you'll need) and the bottom is the actual drink mix. And if you head on over to the offcial site (click the logo to the right), you'll find more recipies and not just drinks but side dishes as well.
Lemon-Vanilla Simple Syrup (yields 1/2 cup)
- ¾ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Lemon Extract
- ½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract
Directions - In a small saucepan, add water, sugar and lemon extract; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until syrup reduces, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. After syrup has cooled, add vanilla extract and stir. Refrigerate unused syrup in an airtight container.
Lemon Lime Raspberry Twist (serves 1)
- 6 fresh raspberries
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice
- ½ ounce Lemon-Vanilla Simple Syrup
- 1 ounce vodka
- 2 ounces organic lemon sparkling water
- lime twist
- 2 frozen raspberries
- orange wedge
Directions - In a cocktail shaker, muddle fresh raspberries, lime juice and Lemon-Vanilla Simple Syrup. Add vodka and sparkling water; shake and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Drop lime twist and frozen raspberries into glass. Top with a freshly squeezed orange wedge. This can also be a refreshing warm weather drink without the vodka.
Apple Pie Vanilla Syrup (yields 1/2 cup)
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract
- 15 whole cloves
- 3 whole cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar
Directions - In a small saucepan, add juice, vanilla extract, cloves and cinnamon sticks; stir to combine. Cook over medium heat until juice is reduced by half. Carefully add sugars, cook and stir until sugars are melted; remove from heat. Completely cool and strain before use. Refrigerate unused syrup in an airtight container. Apple Pie Syrup is also a great addition to a hot mug of apple cider.
Apple Pie Martini
- 4 fl. oz. half-and-half
- 1 fl. oz. Coffee Liqueur
- 1 fl. oz. Apple Pie Vanilla Syrup
- 1/2 fl. oz. apple pie liqueur
- 1 cinnamon stick
- freshly grated nutmeg (garnish)
Directions - Add ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and freshly grated nutmeg.
Jalapeno-Maraschino Simple Syrup (Yields 1/2 cup)
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and sliced in half
- 5 maraschino cherries
- 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Orange Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract
Directions - In a small saucepan, add jalapenos, cherries and cherry juice, water, sugar and orange extract; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until syrup reduces, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. After syrup has cooled, add vanilla extract and stir. Refrigerate unused syrup in an airtight container.
Spiced Tahitian Mango Punch (Yields 6 cups)
- 1 cup chilled mango juice
- 1/2 cup chilled pulp free orange juice
- 2 fl. oz. peach schnapps
- 1 fl. oz. spiced rum
- 2 fl. oz. Jalapeno-Maraschino Simple Syrup
- 2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Orange Extract
- 1 (12 fl. oz.) bottle chilled light beer
Directions - In a large pitcher, add mango juice, orange juice, peach schnapps, rum, simple syrup, vanilla and orange extracts; stir to combine. Add bottle of light beer to pitcher and stir to combine. Pour over ice-filled cocktail glasses.
About Nielsen-Massey (taken from their press release): Throughout its more than 100 year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar, Organic Fairtrade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Beans. Nielsen-Massey Fairtrade products are certified by FLO-CERT. Nielsen-Massey Vanillas also offers a full line of Pure Flavors: Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water. All Nielsen-Massey products are All-Natural, Allergen-Free, GMO-Free, and certified Kosher and Gluten-Free. The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, with production facilities in Waukegan and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.