Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Homemade vanilla....

The best tasting hootch vanilla is the homemade stuff.  I've been brewing this batch for about 6 weeks or more and  bottled it up with my own label.  It will get tucked in with some Christmas gifts.  If you've never made homemade vanilla extract, it's easy.

Homemade Vanilla Extract
1 large bottle of cheap vodka
2-4 whole vanilla beans, split lengthwise

Remove the cap from the vodka bottle and slip in the split vanilla beans.  Recap and leave in a dark cupboard for 6-8 weeks.  The longer you leave it, the better.  The vodka will darken and vanilla seeds will float around.  Before bottling, you may like to strain the seeds with a coffee filter through a funnel.  I don't because I think the seeds give the extract more flavor.  You can reuse the beans in another bottle of vodka to make more extract. 

I buy beans cheap on Ebay here.  I usually share an order with my DIL.  I found the amber bottles at Specialty Bottle.  With shipping, a dozen 8 oz. bottles ends up costing about $2 each.

Here's the little "cooker" if you'd like to use the image for your own label.


  1. Great idea...thanks for sharing your crafty secrets!

  2. Well look at that...you'd think this Russian would have heard about brewing her own vanilla with Vodka long ago :0)
    I love your bottles!!

  3. How Fun! I LOVE your adorable little labels -- what a cool Christmas gift!!!

  4. i love your labels! very creative and cute.. :)

  5. Very neat, I didn't know you could make it! Very nice gift, bet it smells wonderful! Come say hi :D

  6. Oh Jody I love the lables xoxoxox Clarice

  7. Thank you for sharing where you bought your bottles! I wanted to make this for gifts for my daughters, but I couldn't find a good bottle.

    I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. Your blog is such a blessing to me.

  8. Interesting, GL! I love it! I'm going to try it because I love vanilla in all my favorite sweets. I love your blog!

  9. Thanks, everybody, for your sweet comments. I tried to add my label to the post, but since it was a word document, it wouldn't load in pictures. So....instead, I just put the image here on the post so you can make your own labels with it.


  10. this is the second post i've seen about making your own homemade vanilla. now i am dying to try it. thanks for the how to. :)

  11. Cute Cute idea and fun as well. I have been wanting to do that again...didn't get it done this year, maybe next. Thanks for sharing.


  12. Oh my goodness, this is such a great post! Just what I've been looking for (you don't want to know what Katie and I just paid for a teeny bottle of the real thing)! I especially appreciate your links for buying the beans on ebay (one of my favorite stores :). Thank you so much for sharing this! I believe you have inspired a new, permanent, addition to our Gift Pantry! It would be a charming and valuable addition to a Kitchen/Baking Gift Basket/Box!! Thanks again!

  13. this is a great recipe.. Thank you! I use vanilla a lot in baking cakes, how nice to make it myself! Is it quite strong? would you use a small amount...like you do with shop bought,such a only a few drops? Amazing...all that lovely vanilla, compared to the small overly expensive little shop bought bottles!

    Priscilla x

  14. For those who have asked, I use the same amount of this homemade vanilla as the recipe calls for. I don't add less. I want more goodness!

    I hope you'll all enjoy using your own homemade vanilla as much as I do. I can't even imagine going back to the store for that cheap imitation stuff.



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