DIY Vanilla Extract!

 Hello!! Here we are in the dead of summer and I am thinking about Christmas gifts. Homemade gifts at that. I admit that this one is a little bit for me as well since I plan to keep a portion to use myself. I have wanted to make vanilla extract at home for ages and since my beloved vanilla from Mexico will run out in the next few months, I thought now is the time!

Not only is it SUPER simple, it's also WAY cost effective to make it yourself. For about $40 I will have made 32 ounces of good quality vanilla extract TO BEGIN WITH. The best part of homemade extract is that you can use the beans again more than once. I can at least use them twice making 64 oz. A middle of the road Vanilla Extract from Target will cost you about $9 for 2oz.  So, it's a deal for much better quality!
Here is everything you need!
I got all of my supplies from Amazon (minus the vodka which I bought locally).

I have had these bottles forever from when I have made kombucha. You can also use a tight sealing jar.
And I bought these beans.
You'll need 8 oz of vodka per 5 beans, so you can start small! The cheapest vodka you can find will work just fine! Don't waste money here!

A funnel is helpful.

To make the extract simply slice the beans down the center to expose the middle.
Use 5 beans to one cup of vodka. (These bottles hold ten beans each and two cups of vodka).

Add beans to bottle/jar. Add vodka. Put the lid on and shake it gently.

Sit it in a cool place out of direct sun for six months (hence why I am starting them now).  Every so often shake them a bit.

If you are going to gift a portion, remove the beans and start a new one.  If you are going to keep some, simply top the vanilla off every once in a while to extend the life of your bottle of vanilla!

You can get a lot out of five beans! I hope you try some! I thinks it's always worth it to make everything from scratch at least once to see if it's worth it! I think homemade Vanilla extract IS!

Let me know if you make some!

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