Making homemade vanilla extract has been on my to do list for ages. I love the idea of homemade extracts, salts, mustard's, drink mixes. My problem isn't bookmarking an idea, it is finding the motivation to actually start the project - I have had all the necessary supplies to make vanilla extract for month's; minus the vodka...but it sat, and sat and then sat some more- that's when the idea of a DIY kitchen series came to mind. Sharing these ideas and projects with you would give me the motivation to complete some pretty neat kitchen DIY's. I hope you enjoy this series - let me know if there is a DIY you would like to see a post on!
Welcome to the very first post in the series: Homemade Vanilla Extract- and it couldn't be simpler.
Making homemade vanilla extract requires a few easy to find supplies - organic vodka, whole vanilla beans and a container(s). I purchased Boston Round Bottles from Amazon, they are the perfect bottles for vanilla extract - but even a mason jar would work or any other container with a tight fitting lid.
Three vanilla beans are split lengthwise, exposing the seeds inside. The split beans are cut in half and placed inside the sanitized bottles (3 beans per 1 cup vodka) then topped off with vodka. I was able to find an American made organic vodka, but any good high proof vodka will suffice (I also really like Vodka 360!). For the Vanilla Beans I used Madagascar & Tahitian Varieties - try out different kinds to suite your own taste.
After you have filled each bottle with the beans and vodka, simply twist the cover tight and give it a good shake. The bottles should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place and shaken every couple of weeks. The Vanilla needs to "age" for a minimum of 2 months - for a more pronounced vanilla extract age longer.
For the finishing touch I printed round craft labels for the front of each bottle - there you have it, easy homemade vanilla extract.
If you make a batch today you can cross off one homemade Holiday or Hostess gift off your list.
Homemade Pure Vanilla Extract
makes 12 bottles
you will need:
(12) 4oz bottles or appropriate containers for extract
(my bottles held closer to 3/4 cup vodka versus 1 full cup)
(2) 750ml bottles of organic vodka or your favorite high proof vodka of choice (about 10-11 cups or so)
36 vanilla beans (I used Tahitian & Madagascar)
dark storage box for vanilla to age
Sanitize the containers in the dishwasher, hot soapy water or with a sanitizing solution.
For each cup or so of vodka you will need 3 full vanilla beans, split down the center to expose the seeds. If using bottles similar to the ones I used you will need to cut the 3 vanilla beans in half creating 6 pieces (this is so they will fit in the bottle).
Place the vanilla beans in the bottle, using a funnel pour vodka into the bottle ensuring the vanilla beans are covered - leave a bit of head space that will allow you some room to shake up the bottles.
Cap tightly and shake well- place in your storage box. Repeat process until all bottles are filled.
Create pretty labels and stick to bottles!
Drink any leftover vodka.
Once the extract has aged a minimum of 2 months you can strain the vanilla which removes the vanilla beans and seeds or they can remain in the extract for a more rustic extract.