I love to cook, and one of my favorite often used ingredients is Vanilla Extract. In this post I will explain how to make vanilla extract, it is after all very easy to do. For many years I used to often buy high quality vanilla extract from Madagascar. A few years ago I started making it myself. Here is how I do it, the results are spectacular.
how to make vanilla extract
You will need one of the following three spirits [Vodka, Rum or Brandy] please make sure you use a higher quality spirit. Remember the old adage – crap in crap out… The same holds true for the Vanilla Beans you use.
I normally use Absolute Vodka myself. Also, I normally use a half of a 1.75ltr bottle. The recipe below makes approx 2 cups, so if you need or want to make a larger batch just multiply it as needed. Also note that using rum or brandy will change the taste, imparting a sweeter than normal taste.
2 – cups of vodka
6 – large vanilla beans
1 to 2 – splashes of dark rum (optional, will help impart a hint of sweetness)
1 – clean glass jar or bottle (i normally just use a fresh bottle of vodka for the container)
1. Split the vanilla beans lengthwise.
2. Cut the halved vanilla beans in 1/2 or 1/3s depending on the height of your bottle (this helps ensure the beans will be completely submerged in the liquid).
3. Pour your preferred spirit into the bottle or jar.
4. Drop the vanilla beans you cut up into the bottle / jar.
5. Add a splash or two of dark rum (if you want to impart additional sweetness).
6. Cap the bottle / jar.
7. Everyday give the bottle a shake for about 20 seconds.
8. Store in a cool dark place (or just make sure its out of the sunlight)
9. Continually shake the bottle (1-2x a day for 20seconds) for at least 30 days. If you miss a day no biggie. The shaking just helps the extraction process.
Once you hit 30 days you can either strain the extract, or leave the beans in there. I personally leave it all in there. Also right before I use it I give it a shake for a couple quick seconds. Then enjoy as needed.
Matt is a Systems Development Director for a multinational franchise. Matt has lived and worked in Hawaii, Chicago, South Florida and currently resides outside of Atlanta. He enjoys his hobbies including Technology, Gadgets/EDC, Fountain Pens, Wetshaving, Clocks, Antiques & Coffee. He even roasts his own coffee weekly.