I make my own ice cream and I do a bit of baking so Vanilla Extract is something I use a lot of. Now buying Vanilla Extract is quite expensive here in Oz. So I decided to make my own. It’s really super easy to make and it is very cost effective. Plus the flavour is out of this world.
So here is how I make vanilla extract at home.
Watch the video or scroll down for the written instructions.
What you Need
- 1 Bottle of Alcohol
- 1 vial of Vanilla Beans–
- I use Vodka but I am also going to try Spiced Rum. Vodka is odorless and tasteless so it makes a nice clean batch, full of vanilla flavour.
- I purchased the vanilla beans were from Costco.
- Using a sharp knife and a cutting board, carefully split the vanilla pods. Try not to go right through to the other side, but really it doesn’t matter if you do. We want to add all the lovely vanilla beans from inside the pod as well as the pod to the alcohol. You can leave some whole and cut some in half.
- Pop the vanilla pods into the bottle of alcohol and screw on the top.
- Label the bottle with the date you have made it.
Leave for a minimum of 3 months before using the extract. The longer you leave it the more gorgeous vanilla flavor will permeate the vodka.
For the first week or two, give the bottle a bit of a turnaround just to mix in the flavour. Don’t go crazy, just a couple of gentle turns is all that is needed.
Later you can do this once or twice a week and after a few weeks, once every week or two is enough. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with unscrewing the bottle to have a whiff of the lovely vanilla aroma as it develops.
You can transfer the vanilla extract into smaller bottles for gift giving for friends and family who like to bake. If the brew hasn’t reached the 3 month mark, then make a label with both the date the extract was made and the date for when it can be used. If you place a couple of the vanilla pods into the bottle then, let them know that the longer they leave the extract before using it, the more the flavor will develop.
You can also strain the extract into smaller bottles so that it is clear. But the flavor won’t get any stronger if you do.
Add a ribbon to the bottle and it makes a lovely gift.