Homemade vanilla extract is simple to make and great for gifting! Here's how we make ours...
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DIY Homemade Vanilla Extract RecipeHomemade vanilla extract has the best flavor and aroma! We've been making and gifting DIY vanilla for many years now. The longer it steeps, the better it gets. You can keep adding beans and alcohol to the same bottle for years.
INGREDIENTS & SUPPLIESAll you will need are some vanilla beans (we buy ours from Amazon), alcohol (at least 40% alcohol) and bottles. Pretty labels add a nice touch. I used these labels from Minted.
You will need approximately 75 Grade B vanilla beans per 1.75 liters of alcohol to make 12, 8 ounce bottles of vanilla extract.
Use a sharp knife to slice your beans lengthwise. You can cut them all the way or leave the ends intact.
Next, submerge your beans in alcohol. We make big batches, so we just pop the beans directly into the 1.75 liter bottles of vodka. Place your vodka bottle in a bowl to catch the overflow.
After 2 months, I funnel the vodka into the smaller jars along with the soaked beans.
Another option is to make your vanilla extract directly in the 8 ounce amber bottles. If you do, use 6 beans per 8 ounces of liquid. You can cut the beans to fit the jar, just make sure they're completely submerged.
Your vanilla extract will be ready to use in 2 months. The longer it sits the better, but 2 months is a good amount of time to develop a rich color and flavor. Give your vanilla bottle(s) a good shake once a week, or whenever you remember.
If you want to gift your vanilla extract sooner, just add a tag that tells the recipient when the vanilla will be ready to use (for example, "Ready on March 1st").
Pin or print the image below to refer back to later!
I hope you found this helpful and enjoy making your own vanilla extract! Our friends and relatives ask for it every year so we have started to buy vanilla beans throughout the year when prices are lower. Tip: Set Amazon alerts for the vanilla beans and buy them when prices drop.
Another tip: Any alcohol greater then 40% will work—experiment with whisky, etc. for new flavor profiles.