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DIY Vanilla Extract

Posted by on 9/12/2023

DIY Vanilla Extract

Vanilla is one of the most recognized and loved flavors in the world as well as a staple in most kitchens. If you love giving homemade holiday gifts, now is the time to start making your own vanilla extract. Homemade vanilla extract makes for an easy, delicious, and unique gift for almost everyone on your list, as it can be used beyond baking – oatmeal, fruit compote, coffee creamer, mocktails & cocktails, teas & hot cocoa, and even cleaning & beauty products. A multi-tasking ingredient!
Homemade vanilla extract only requires 2 ingredients: vanilla beans and alcohol.

    Madagascar vanilla beans are the most popular beans, and are considered the traditional beans. They have a smooth creamy, sweet flavor most of us associate with vanilla.

    80-proof alcohol: Vodka is the most common alcohol used in homemade vanilla extract, but you can also use rum, bourbon, or brandy. Vodka will make for a more neutral/pure vanilla extract, while rum, bourbon, and brandy will lend a deeper and more complex flavor to your extract.

    Ratios: for single-fold vanilla extract (regular strength) 2.5 – 3 beans per 4 oz liquor or 5-6 beans per 8 oz liquor. For double-fold extract (double-strength), use approx. 10-12 beans per 8 oz of liquor.

Jars: You can use clear or amber glass jars, just make sure they are air-tight and stored in a dark cupboard. Use a large jar to make the extract, then decant into smaller ones or make it straight into the bottles that will be gifted.

How to: Place the vanilla beans in the jar and completely cover them with the alcohol. Slit the beans lengthwise or leave them whole. Splitting them down the middle exposes the seeds and helps the extract infuse quicker. Seal the jar and store it at room temperature in a dark cupboard. Every few days or so, give it a good shake.

Time: For the best flavor, cure for a minimum of 8 weeks, though waiting longer yields better flavor. If stored correctly – in an airtight jar in a dark cabinet – the homemade vanilla extract will last indefinitely.


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