There’s nothing like using my own homemade vanilla extract. The taste compared to what can be bought in the store? Seriously…there really is no comparison. The flavor is drastically better, more potent and the results are healthier. I’ve been making my own vanilla extract for a few years now, and you can easily make your own vanilla as well.
If I don’t have a big bottle already made up, I’ll start up a new batch right around July/August, so that I have plenty of vanilla to give as gifts during the holiday. It’s an inexpensive gift, and people absolutely love it! And recently I found a source for organic vodka at a local shop, so my vanilla has become even healthier (ask your local alcohol vendor if they can carry a few bottles for you if they don’t already have organic options).
- 1/2 gallon vodka
- 35-40 vanilla beans
- Cut vanilla beans in half, without completely separating them.
- Keep the ends attached, and just keep in mind you really just want to expose the seeds that are inside.
- Pour out some of your vodka so that you have room for the vanilla beans in the bottle.
- Add the beans to your vodka bottle, close and shake.
- Store in a dark place for four-six months, while shaking the bottle about once a week.
- After four-six months, it is ready to use!
I originally shared this recipe a few years ago and even did a price comparison between the homemade version and store-bought versions. The homemade costs dramatically less AND it’s more potent. Win/win right?
You can get a 1/2 pound bag of vanilla beans for $29.99 (plus free shipping). Approximately 55 beans come in a 1/2 pound bag, so you will have more than enough for your vanilla concoction. If you’re thinking of making this to use as gifts for the holidays, now is the time to do it! The mixture takes about 4-6 months to become awesome vanilla.
Read up more on my tips for making homemade vanilla extract and the cost comparison here.
Now, off to shake up my bottle of vanilla for the day! Do you make your own? How do you like it?