Rosey the Riveter

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Homemade Vanilla Extract

One of the gifts I used this year for teachers and hostesses, etc. was homemade Vanilla Extract.  It was super easy, and recipients have expressed A LOT of interest in how it's done.  Last week, there was an article in the paper about making your own, which prompted even more questions.

So, I decided to post about it (I know, I know... just like every other blogger out there.  It's a popular topic.)

First of all, get yourself a 1.75 L bottle of Vodka and a half pound of vanilla beans.  (Do not buy these from a local store, you'll pay through the nose.  Order online.  I have used and have been happy.  Best of all, they frequently have coupon codes and they always have free shipping on vanilla beans.)

I pour the Vodka into wide-mouth canning jars.  You want to use at least 8 vanilla beans per cup of vodka.

Slice each bean the long way, and insert into the vodka.

Let sit for about 3 months and shake it when you think of it.

You'll see it getting darker and darker.

When it's done, you won't smell the Vodka.

For gift-giving, I purchased 4 oz amber bottles from HERE.  I think I got 4 dozen and they were about a buck each after shipping. 

I downloaded THIS free image and doctored it up using WORD.

The perfect, useful little gift.


  1. Oh, this is great!! I wonder if the alcohol in the vodka is absorbed by the vanilla beans or something, very interesting. I will definitely have to try this! I assume you strain out the vanilla beans before putting it into the gift bottle? I love that you also included links for everything, makes it so easy for us to copy your idea! :-)


  2. I actually leave a couple beans in each of the bottles. Recipients can top them off with more vodka if they want. I don't think the alcohol goes anywhere, the vanilla just masks the flavor.

  3. Thanks Lanette! This tutorial is great! Now if only I could keep vodka around for long enough to make this:-) The Vanilla Extract I received had the beans removed and smelled sooooo good!