We are officially back to school. This means running around and paying dearly my lack of preparation. This also means my afternoon pick me up is no longer a nap with the kids, but caffeine.
I usually do caffeine in moderation as I am highly sensitive to it, but let me tell you this week has really called for it. I have been going to bed too late and waking up too early to make it all the way through the day without a little something. I wish I could say that I was going to bed late because I am doing something fun and creative like crafting or baking, but it is mostly folding laundry and waiting up for Brian who is working insane hours getting ready for back to school.
One of my favorite treats is an iced vanilla latte. I have an espresso maker, but to be honest I don’t have time for that noise. Also, sometimes I find the place that rhymes with Schmarbucks can be a pain to run to in the afternoon when I am home getting things done. So, I have come up with my own recipe.
The key to a good one though is the syrup, and I think I have perfected the recipe. What I have done is used both a fresh vanilla bean, and the best vanilla extract I could find. This makes a creamy and vanilla simple syrup that can be mixed into coffee, tea, or even lemonade and stays good in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Iced Vanilla Latte with Homemade Vanilla Syrup
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups cold water
1 vanilla bean
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (preferably organic)
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat add water, sugar. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and add it to the pan.
Then stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to a low boil or simmer and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and strain mixture into a heat safe container.
Let cool completely. Then, add the two tsp of vanilla extract.
Finally, put in a refrigerator safe and airtight container (I used a Mason Jar), and put in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Iced Vanilla Latte
3 oz of boiled water
1/2 – 1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 – 1 Tbs vanilla syrup
Milk (you can use whole, skim, soy, or almond)
In a heat safe cup, mix together boiled water and desired amount of espresso powder (I used 1/2 tsp as I don’t like my lattes too strong).
Then, add vanilla syrup. In a large glass add ice, espresso mixture, and then top with as much milk as you like.
Sip with a straw for the perfect afternoon jolt to keep you going.
For more Thirsty Thursday recipes or information on all things drinkable, visit the Thirsty Thursday Page.