It’s always been a mystery to me as to how vanilla extract is made.
Mystery no more!
It’s so easy and makes a great gift. It takes 6+ weeks to sit and relax, so you’ll need to get started this week to make it just in time for Christmas!
If you’re my family, SURPRISE, you’re getting this for Christmas!
First, you’ll need to collect your ingredients and supplies:
- Bottles – You can use any size and you can use clear or dark bottles. I purchased mine from Specialty Bottle. I purchased and used 20 bottles.
- Vanilla Beans – Any variety you’d like to use is fine. I purchased mine from Beanilla. I purchased 1/2 pound of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans.
- Alcohol – You can use vodka or bourbon. I filled half of my bottles with vodka and half with bourbon.
Before you begin, you’ll want to wash the bottles and caps with warm soapy water, rinse and allow to air dry.
Now, it’s time to set up your vanilla extract. You’ll follow the rule of putting at least 2 vanilla beans to every 5 ounces (the more the better!). I’ve seen other recipes use 5 whole beans for every 8 ounces. So, whatever you feel comfortable doing is fine.
You’ll cut each whole bean in half.
Then, cut each half in half (longways), leaving the ends in tact.
Place the bean pieces into your prepared bottles.
Now, you’re ready for the alcohol. Like I said, I did a variety of bourbon and vodka in my bottles.
Fill the bottles with the alcohol of your choosing!
Top the bottles with their caps or plugs and place in a cool, dark and dry place for 6 or more weeks. You’ll bring them out just to gently shake them every week until you’re ready to gift them.
Here’s the time-lapse of my 6 weeks:
Start this process as soon as you can, so they’ll be ready to gift when Christmas comes around. I’m gifting them with the vanilla beans in the bottles, with the instructions to continue to shake every week or so to continue to soak up the flavors and make it amazing!
You can also make the vanilla extract by just popping a TON of split vanilla beans into the alcohol jars that you purchased, shaking every week. Then, once it’s dark enough for your taste, filter with cheesecloth and funnel into the bottles.
Throughout this process, you’ll want to make cute little labels. Here’s how:
- I purchased the Avery Brown Kraft Labels:
- Then, I made my own templates to print out at home.
It’s as simple as that! You can tie ribbons around the bottles, attach removable tags to the tops to show who it’s from and give it just like that!
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing how to make your own homemade vanilla extract! Below are close ups of the pretty labeled bottles.
This post was not sponsored. I purchased all of these products because I enjoy them. There is one affiliate link within the post, where a small percentage of purchases made through that amazon link goes back to help support my store.