Zadaran Storm

Zadarn Storm

For the first time today, I garnished a drink with a vanilla bean. And it cost 36 cents. I can’t even begin to describe how much aroma a vanilla bean has, so as most writers do, I’m going to do it anyway. It’s both spicy and sweet at once, reminding you of apple pie and ice cream, sipping warm cider in the fall, and delightfully jiggly crème brûlée.

And until a week ago, this ingredient was saved for only the specialist of dishes, like Thomas Keller’s pear sorbet or in a pine nut crust for a lemon curd tart. Never had I considered buying it for cocktails, let alone using one as a garnish. Then one day I asked Tiare from A Mountain of Crushed Ice where she got the fortune to purchase the wad of vanilla beans that has appeared in many of her pictures. She’d even garnish a cocktail with three whole vanilla beans! The response was mind-bending, “Oh, Ebay; they’re cheap.”

I almost didn’t believe her, but I checked, and they are. I ordered 1/2lb of Grade A Tahitian vanilla beans from Vanilla Products USA. They arrived in two days. They are of the highest quality, beautifully aromatic, and packed with oodles of flavor.

Having made a batch of raspberry syrup for last week’s TDN, and more specifically for Tiare’s Funkin’ Raspberry, I thought this would be a perfect excuse to use my new vanilla beans.

Zadaran Storm

  • 2oz dark Jamaican rum (used Gosling’s – tried with Coruba and it masked the syrups)
  • 1/2oz maraschino liqueur
  • 1oz lime juice
  • 1/2oz raspberry syrup (recipe below)
  • 1/2oz vanilla syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • ginger beer, to top
  • vanilla bean, for garnish

Add all but the ginger beer and vanilla bean to a collins glass. Fill with crushed ice, top with ginger beer and stir for 10 or so seconds to chill. Position the vanilla bean so you can get its aroma with every sip. Note: when you’re done, rinse off the bean and add it to your next batch of vanilla sugar.

Rick from Kaiser Penguin

The Gosling’s and maraschino give this rich potion a dark funkiness, while the raspberry syrup and ginger beer brighten it up and make it fruity. The vanilla brings all of this together as each sip is met with the aroma of the garnishing bean. This would be the perfect fall drink if raspberries were in season.

Vanilla Syrup

  • 4 vanilla beans
  • 2c sugar
  • 1c water

Quick Method: Scrape the seeds from the pods and add them and the pods to a saucepan with the sugar and water. Simmer for two minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 2 hours. Remove the pods and strain.
Long Method: Add the whole vanilla beans to 2c sugar and put in an airtight container for 2 weeks to a year. Remove the beans, add sugar and 1c water to a sauce pan and heat only long enough to dissolve the sugar.

Raspberry Syrup

  • 1c fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1c sugar
  • 1/2c water

Add ingredients to a sauce pan and simmer for 20 minutes or until the berries are broken down and a bit syrupy. Strain to get the seeds out.

KP Question

  • What are your favorite cocktails with vanilla syrup?

13 Responses to “Zadaran Storm”

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13 Comments to “ Zadaran Storm”
  1. oysterschnappsNo Gravatar says:

    The Nui Nui, of course. It’s one of my very favorite classic tiki drinks.

    I’d been holding off on making homemade vanilla syrup due to the cost of vanilla beans and because I wasn’t sure how many beans I needed, but now you’ve solved both problems in one blog post. I will have to thank Tiare as well…

  2. TiareNo Gravatar says:

    I cant really say one specific drink…i pour in vanilla a little bit both here and there..but the NuiNui is a good choice.

    And now Rick has managed to come up with yet another picture that makes me swoon..this one is just awesome!



  3. ScomorokhNo Gravatar says:

    Hi. Actually cocktails with vanilla syrup is so rare things in my life and on my blog :)

    But some weeks ago I tested this one. I was found cocktail Rum Pot on Trader Tiki blog. It is great mix of my favorite demerara rum with some syrups and juices. It was great! And I prepared my own vanilla syrup from water, sugar and vanilla extract.

    You can see Rum Pot on my blog.

  4. BonzoGalNo Gravatar says:

    OMG, I paid $8 for 3 vanilla beans recently. I may cry…

    I made Brazilian Daiquiris and put the used vanilla beans in some sugar afterward, but forgot to let them dry completely first. The sugar got hard pretty quickly… so I used it to make syrup. So this story has a happy ending.

  5. chanamothNo Gravatar says:

    Hey there!

    The recipe sounds delicious, I just bought 100g of vanilla pods so I can give it a try. =) One question comes to my mind though: How long is the shelf life for the vanilla syrup? Wouldn’t hurt if I add some vodka to preserve it, I guess, or does the vodka tamper with the vanilla?

  6. RickNo Gravatar says:

    The vanilla syrup should stay good for several months in the refrigerator with that much sugar in it.

  7. chanamothNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you very much! I will give it a try now. =)

    btw, your blog is great!

  8. RowenNo Gravatar says:

    How do you store the beans if you’re not gonna use ’em all right away?

  9. RickNo Gravatar says:

    Rowen, Store them in a ziplock bag in a dark place and make sure to get all the air out when you close it (a straw works wonders for this).

  10. […] I mentioned excitedly in my recent post on vanilla, I picked up a bunch of Tahitian beans on ebay. Tahitian vanilla beans were first brought from the […]

  11. […] Courtesy of Rick at Kaiser Penguin. […]

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Kaiser Penguin is a cocktail blog featuring original recipes, homemade ingredients, classic cocktails, and tiki drinks.

Why on Earth did you name your blog “Kaiser Penguin?”

It is a well-known fact that penguins are members of high society and enjoy fine cocktails. Our very own kaiser penguin would like me to mention that he also enjoys various treats from the sea.

Contact: rick@kaiserpenguin.com