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Homemade Vanilla Extract

Some things are so easy to DIY that you end up asking yourself, "Why am I just now doing this?"  Well, one reason is that some things seem like they'd be hard to make yourself, and other things you just have no idea it's even possible.  Vanilla extract was one of the things I had no idea you could even DIY.

For a few years now I've been seeing more and more people making their own vanilla extract.  This winter I officially asked myself "Why am I just now doing this?"  Mainly it's because I kept forgetting to make my own.  Finally a few months ago I ran out of vanilla and needed to buy some. Upon seeing the price tag I immediately thought "Damn, I really need to make my own".  So, I promptly wrote Vodka on the shopping list I had with me (in the correct spot according to store layout, might I add) and bought some vanilla beans online while waiting in line to check-out.  Gotta love Amazon!  I couldn't forget about it this time, especially since I'd have a bottle of vodka just sitting there, and I'm much more of a Rum girl!

I cannot stress enough how easy this was.  Take a bottle of vodka, split some beans and store together in a dark space for a few months, such as the top shelf of the pantry that even this 5'9" girl can't reach without tip toes.  It may seem expensive when buying a bottle of vodka and so many vanilla beans, but just remember that next time you're buying a 4-ounce bottle for $10.  That's insane!

Homemade Vanilla Extract
3 vanilla beans per 8 oz. vodka
Clean glass bottle or jar
Vodka - no need to splurge on Grey Goose here!
(I used 10 beans for a fifth of vodka)

Split the vanilla bean pods lengthwise and place in glass jar or bottle. Do not scrape beans.  Fill the bottle with vodka.  Seal the bottle and store in a cool dark place for 2 months.  Shake the bottle every few weeks.

Source: Use Real Butter 


  1. I have also been meaning to do this. It is such a neat idea! Thanks for sharing!


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