The rich and heady scent of vanilla has long been associated with love, romance and passion. It’s been considered an aphrodisiac for centuries.
True vanilla is quite expensive, so most people do use artificial vanilla flavourings in cooking and drinks. Using whole vanilla beans will give you the best flavour, but a good quality extract can work in a pinch. Extracts can be found with real vanilla or artificial.
If you’re looking to add some romantic flavour to your Valentine’s celebration, here are some drinks to try.
Sparkling Vanilla Float
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
- Club soda or sparkling water
Scoop ice cream into the bottom of a tall glass. Add vanilla extract, and then slowly pour sparkling water to fill the glass. Serves 1.
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
Split the vanilla bean in half, lengthwise and save one half for another recipe. In a saucepan, mix the milk, cream and sugar. Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod and mix them in too. Bring the mixture to a low simmer.
Remove from heat, and “steep” for 15 minutes. Strain out any remaining vanilla seeds. Then put the pot back on the stove, and heat through again. Give the mixture a good whisking to blend, and serve hot. A nice, mellow alternative to traditional hot chocolate.
Or if you already have you own favourite beverages (hot or cold) you can always as a few drops of vanilla extract for some Valentine’s day romance.