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Homemade Vanilla Extract

Why would anyone want to make vanilla extract when they can buy it from the store? Next time you go to the store you will notice there is imitation vanilla extract and pure vanilla extract. Some of these add coloring and other ingredients to their vanilla. Plus it can be much cheaper to make in bulk.

Making your own is really quite simple. You need 80 proof (40% alcohol) alcohol and vanilla beans. I have used rum and vodka for my vanilla extract. It can be cheap vodka. You don't have to get the most expensive vodka.

I purchase my vanilla beans on Amazon and buy in bulk. I usually get 25 to 50 vanilla beans at once. You can buy fancy bottles with seals to give as gifts later or you can use a mason jar. You can also use the vodka bottle and place the beans in the bottle as well.

I use 2 1/2 vanilla bean pods to every 4 oz of alcohol. You will need to split the vanilla pod open by running a knife down the the middle of the vanilla bean pod. Depending on how tall your bottle is you can cut it in half and drop in bottle. Then add alcohol. After you do this you will add lids and shake. Store the vanilla in a cool dark place and shake bottles once a week for at least six weeks. The longer the vanilla beans sit in the alcohol the stronger and darker the extract will be. I like to let mine sit for at least 6 months but you don't have to do that. Once you use all the vanilla extract you can refill and repeat the process. You can get two uses out of the beans. Some people say more but I think it gets a little weaker.

You can do this with mint, orange peels, lemon peels, and cinnamon.

I purchased my bottles Here. And my vanilla pods Here. You can purchase vanilla bean pods on Amazon for much cheaper than store bought vanilla bean pods. There are several different companies with great prices. This is just what I purchased.

These make great gifts and I love having a lot of vanilla extract available for baking. Enjoy!

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