Easy Homemade Vanilla Extract

Easy Homemade Vanilla Extract

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Why have I not made this sooner? I never realized how easy making vanilla was!

Once you make this, you will never go back to buying expensive vanilla extract! Plus this is such a wonderful gift for the holidays!

It's only 2 ingredients! Vanilla beans and vodka.

Vanilla Extract supplies

I purchased the little 5 oz. bottles at IKEA for about a $1 each. There are so many on Amazon to chose from like these. (click on the picture to take you there.)

I might purchase these bottles next time. They are 4 oz. bottles for about $1.25 each. But I'm thinking the mouth of the bottle might be better for pouring vanilla. Just a thought.

The vanilla beans are Tahitian Grade B beans for making extract. I purchased 2 packs of 30 for $26.99 each. I put 4 beans in each bottle, making 15 bottles of extract.  

Then I purchased the cheapest vodka I could find. This bottle was $9.99 per bottle. I bought 2 bottles and went through a bottle and a half, so I have plenty to make more or refill my vanilla.

Lastly, I purchased the 2" x2" square Avery Labels. They came in a pack of 300, so I will have more than enough. It's super easy to print the labels. If you go to their site, punch in the label #, it sets you all up to type up the label. They printed perfectly!

According to my calculations, these little gifts cost me just under $6.00 each. Granted the labels were more of an upfront cost and wouldn't need to be purchased each time. That would bring the total cost down to about $5.50 per bottle.

Alright, now let's put these all together!

First, cut your vanilla beans. I chose to not cut mine all the way through, leaving the tip together.

cutting vanilla beans

leaving the vanilla bean tip together

You can also use kitchen shears to cut the beans. I did both.

cutting vanilla beans with kitchen shears

Next, drop your beans into the jars. I used 4 beans per bottle. 

Filling bottles with vanilla beans

The next step is to add the vodka. I use a little funnel to make it easier.

Adding vodka to vanilla beans

Then seal them up, shake and add your labels. I chose to create a front and back label. Here is a photo of my back label. This is helpful, because it gives all the directions. I like adding the date it was bottled. They should steep for about 2 months before using.

Back label of vanilla extract

Here is the front label.

Front label of vanilla extract

Front and back labels of vanilla extract

After steeping for only 3 weeks, you can see the nice dark amber color developing.

Vanilla extract steeping for 3 weeks

Can't wait to give these little gifts away.

Blessings,
Lori

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