Meyer Lemon-Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash |

You guys didn’t think I would just throw down a Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake and then forget about Meyer lemons, did you? Not even close.

I’ve been putting them in nearly everything, including some Meyer lemon bars with a special crust – that recipe coming up this Sunday!

However, my stash of Meyers is dwindling and I’m OK with saying goodbye to them for another year. But, I had to make a quick cocktail first.

Meyer Lemon-Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash |

My original plan was to make Meyer Lemon Old Fashioneds, but my friend Susan beat me to it. She did such a beautiful job that I didn’t want to compete (although do check out my brandy old fashioned if you’re into that sort of thing).

What else could I make with Meyers and bourbon? I had a few extra vanilla beans around after getting obsessed with cardamom tea lattes and vanilla bean creme brulee for awhile, so I decided a quick vanilla bean simple syrup would be a lovely complement to the tart sweetness of the lemons.

You can keep a batch of this syrup in the fridge for up to a month, to be used in all sorts of cocktails and desserts, as well as this Meyer Lemon-Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash. Cheers!

Update: On 11/6/14, this recipe was chosen as a Community Pick in Food52′s “Your Best Cocktail” contest and professionally photographed by Mark Weinberg:

Meyer Lemon-Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash |

Meyer Lemon-Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash |

Meyer Lemon-Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash

Yield: Enough simple syrup for about 8 cocktails
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


For the Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup:

  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and scraped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water

For the Meyer Lemon-Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash (1 cocktail):

  • 1/4-inch-thick slice of Meyer lemon
  • Ice
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup
  • 4 dashes orange bitters
  • Club soda


  1. Make Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup: In small saucepan, combine vanilla bean, sugar and water. Simmer over medium heat 5 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand at room temperature until completely cool. Remove vanilla bean and discard. Transfer syrup to airtight container and refrigerate up to 1 month.
  2. Make Meyer Lemon-Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash: In rocks glass, muddle lemon slice. Add ice, bourbon, Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup and bitters; stir. Top drink off with club soda.

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