Making Vanilla Extract

I always like to make something homemade for holiday gifts and over the years I’ve made kahlua, spice rub, wine charms, and music cds. Really I just want an excuse to order from  I think I love the packaging of stuff as much as making it!

So every year I try and come up with something new to make friends and family. This year, I decided on homemade vanilla extract. Since it takes a few months to marinate, I figured I’d better get started.  It couldn’t be easier! 

First I bought three 1/2 gallon Ball canning jars from Michaels – they are fairly large and perfectly hold 1.75 liters of vodka.   Next, I ordered some vanilla beans online from Amadeus Vanilla Beans.  (They sell all sorts of vanilla beans and have fun recipes on their website. I think I’m going to make some vanilla sugar with the leftover beans after they do their thing for the extract!)


Next, I cut about 35 beans in half lengthwise and stuck them in one of the jars (did the same thing for the other two). 


And finally, I poured a whole bottle of vodka over the top. Who knew vanilla extract was basically vanilla booze?!


Next, I shook up the jars and put them in a cool place.  You’re supposed to shake them for 30 seconds a couple times a day for the first week, then just once a day and then once a week for about 4 months — and then the vanilla extract is all ready to use!   I’ll bottle mine in little bottles, buy some fun labels and be all ready for the holidays in no time. 


7 thoughts on “Making Vanilla Extract

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