Monday, September 26, 2011

Make It From Scratch: Vanilla Extract, Part 1

One month later!:

Did you know that it's ridiculously easy to make your own vanilla extract?  All you do is soak vanilla beans in vodka.  Seriously!  My plan is to divide the vanilla into 4oz. bottles to give as Christmas gifts, with cutesy personalized labels.  In the next few weeks, I'll find a site to purchase bottles and lids, but here is the current cost breakdown:

Cost List (for a double batch):
Vanilla Beans: $25.19
Vodka: $24
Bottles & Lids (including shipping): n/a
Labels: n/a

As of right now, the vanilla costs only $1.75 for each 4oz. bottle.  Definitely cheaper than what you'd pay in a grocery store for real vanilla, let alone the imitation stuff.  I'll post my update in a few weeks, so you've got some time to purchased some vodka and vanilla beans.

Speaking of vanilla beans, the ones I purchased online - at Olive Nation - are the plumpest vanilla beans I've ever seen.  Most recipes require soaking the beans for at least two months, but these beans were so juicy, that they flavored the vodka within a month.  Love that!

Annnddddd...!  Olive Nation has offered you lovely readers a discount on their vanilla beans - hurrah!

Just enter discount code tadaa10 at checkout
with Olive Nation for a 10% discount.*


Homemade Vanilla Extract
adapted from Allrecipes

1.75 L vodka (cheap stuff is just fine)
1/4 lb. vanilla beans, about 25 beans

Snip down the length of each vanilla bean to within an inch of one end.  Pour out some of the vodka to make room for vanilla beans and then put them all in the bottle.  Replace the cap, give it a good shake, and store in a cool, dark area of your kitchen.  Shake the bottle once a week.  Vanilla will be ready after one month or so, but is best when allowed to soak longer, up to 6 months.  Filter the vanilla pieces out and funnel into individual bottles.  Will make approximately 14, 4oz bottles.

Part 2 can be found here

Ingredient Lineup:

Use kitchen shears (or a clean pair of scissors) to split the vanilla beans down to within an inch of one end.

Five minutes later, and the bottle on the right is already turning amber-colored!

One month later, and it's full blown vanilla extract!

* 10% discount applies to all items, except perishables like cheese, caviar, fish etc.

Print Friendly and PDF


  1. Check out American Science & Surplus for bottles and lids--best prices if they've got them in stock. A friend of mine did this one year and experimented with Vodka, Rum and Brandy bases and gave away trios of vanilla in little cork-stoppered bottles sealed with wax, so cute!

  2. @Scraps - Thank you so much for the idea! I'll definitely search that site next for bottles and lids! :)

  3. Very cool. Please let me know if you need our address, you know, for that homemade vanilla extract you're going to be sending us.

    And how long is it good for? Indefinitely?


I'll trade ya a comment for a smile!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...