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Homemade vanilla extract is probably one of the easiest ingredients to make in your own kitchen, and it doubles as an excellent gift!
Several years ago, I made vanilla extract as a gift for family and friends and it was a huge hit. I had been making it for my own kitchen for some time, but thought it would be a useful gift. It is super simple to put together and it looks so elegant!
(Before I go on, be sure to follow me on Pinterest and Instagram!)
The Process of Vanilla
The process is easy. I buy a bottle from Costco (a giant bottle – Costco-sized of course – that always garners funny looks from looky-lou’s, but it last me years!).
I order my vanilla beans through Azure Standard or purchase them at Costco if they’re in stock when I’m there.
The ratio is 4-6 vanilla beans per 8 oz of vodka. This of course depends on the size of the vanilla beans and how strong you want your vanilla extract.
Using a sharp knife, slice the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the bottle you will be using for your extract. Add the seed pods in as well.
I have a neat old-looking rum bottle (that I had also used for making vanilla extract with), or you can use smaller decorative bottles if you are using it as a gift.
Vanilla Extract does take time…think ahead!
Pour the vodka over the vanilla beans and store in a dark place out of direct sunlight. Be sure and shake it up once a week for 6-8 weeks. Homemade vanilla extract gets better with age, so it will get richer the longer you store it.
I like to keep two bottles on hand, as I use my current homemade vanilla extract, I pour that into a smaller bottle and start another batch in the larger bottle.
For a gift, you can find some cute bottles with corks (I believe I found mine on a craft website). Bottle it up several weeks ahead of time so it has that beautiful amber color by the time you gift it to your friends and family!
Homemade Vanilla Extract
- 8-12 Vanilla Beans
- 16 oz Vodka
- Empty glass bottle
- Slice vanilla beans lengthwise
- Scrape out seeds into bottle
- Add seed pods to bottle
- Pour vodka over the vanilla seeds
- Seal and store in dark place
- Shake once a week for 6-8 weeks (longer for stronger flavor!)
Looking for more DIY projects? Check out my rustic mirror tutorial!
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