Several months ago, I posted my “in process” homemade vanilla extract on Instagram and I received a lot of messages asking about the recipe. So, here I am sharing my love of homemade vanilla. Once you make it yourself, you will never go back to the store bought stuff. The homemade vanilla is not only tastier, but also much healthier. Store bought vanilla oftentimes contains corn syrup or added sugar. There’s really no need for that stuff, they just add it to lessen their overall cost. The less processed sugar, the better for our bodies.
Whole Vanilla Beans (I purchase mine through Azure Standard)
Spiced Rum, Bourbon, Brandy, or Vodka (I prefer vodka)
This recipe only takes 5 minutes to make, but it will take several months for the vanilla beans to soak into the alcohol.
8 vanilla beans
1 tall glass jar of alcohol (I use 8 sliced vanilla beans per every 8 oz of alcohol, but I love strong vanilla)
Fill your mason glass jar with preferred alcohol. (You will need a lid for the jar.) Slice your vanilla beans length-wise. You may cut them if they are too long to fit into the jar. Place the beans into the alcohol filled jar and add a lid to the top. This jar will need to be stored in a dark, cool place for a minimum of 2 months. Inside a kitchen cabinet is the perfection place, unless your house gets too warm in the summer. Occasionally, shake the jar while the alcohol is soaking the beans.
After about 2 or 3 months I begin using my vanilla. I know people who use the vanilla right out of the jar and then replenish the alcohol as it is used. The beans can be re-used over and over again, until you see a much lightened color or the flavor is diminished. (These are signs that new beans need to be used.) I choose to put my finished vanilla in a separate glass jar in the baking cabinet, then I fill up the vanilla bean jar again to begin a new batch. It’s just that easy!