Today I am dedicating an entire blog post to something I’ve talked about here and there (within a post, on Facebook, in my first cookbook, etc.) to make sure it does not get missed … because it’s an important one! If you’d like to gift adorable little Homemade Vanilla Extract bottles this holiday season, which is a lovely and unique gift if I do say so myself, now is the time to begin the super-easy infusion process so it will be ready by December.
Homemade Vanilla Extract can be used just like regular store-bought extract (which sadly often contains unnecessary additives). I give them out every year to friends, neighbors, party hostesses, and even the mail carrier. Because, how cute are these? And come Christmas time who needs another cookie!? Just sayin’ :)
How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract
- So, this next pic may look like I’m about to have a raging party, but this is how homemade vanilla extract begins … with lots of vodka! I usually buy a mid-grade brand like Smirnoff. Not too cheap and not too pricey.
- Next, you simply slit two fresh vanilla beans all the way down the center (longways) and drop them in a 375ml bottle. Either a sharp knife or culinary shears will do the trick. You can also put four beans in a 750ml bottle. To save money order the beans online instead of buying them from the supermarket. Amazon is cheaper for large quantities, but note quality can vary by source. We’ve had consistently good results from J. Crow’s Marketplace.
- Let sit and after a week or two the liquid will start to “infuse” and turn a pretty golden brown color like this picture below.
- You can then transfer the extract to decorative glass bottles (from the craft store or online), add a label, tie on a pretty bow, and voila … you’ll have yourself cute and useful gifts to hand out this year.
How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract (a great gift!)
- 2 vanilla beans fresh
- 1 375-ml bottle vodka I buy a mid-grade brand like Smirnoff
- Slit each vanilla bean down the center longways. Slide all four pieces into the vodka bottle.
- Let sit for a minimum of a couple weeks so it can start to infuse.
- If desired, transfer to decorative glass food-safe bottles to give as gifts.