Homemade Vanilla Extract For Holiday Gifts
How to Make Vanilla Extract For Your Holiday Gift Giving
One of the most impressive and unique foodie gifts you can give is also one of the easiest to make. Homemade vanilla extract requires only two ingredients—vodka and vanilla beans—and about 5 minutes of prep. The beans are split and inserted into glass bottles, which are then filled with vodka. In a few months, you’ve got the most delicious, flavorful vanilla that beats the store-bought brand any day.
Just be sure to keep a bottle or two for yourself.
Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe (see Notes, below)
What you'll need to make vanilla extract from scratch:
- 12 whole vanilla beans, we used Tahitian vanilla beans from Tahiti but Madagascar Vanilla beans work great too
- 3 cups (24 ounces) flavorless vodka
- (6) 4-ounce amber (or other dark glass) bottles
Vanilla extract preparation:
Split the vanilla beans lengthwise to reveal the seeds (if the beans are taller than the bottles, cut in half to fit). Place 2 beans in each bottle, fill with the vodka and cap to seal. Place bottles in a dark cupboard for a month or longer, shaking every few days or so.
1. You do not have to splurge on expensive vodka – but you do want to invest in the most high-quality vanilla beans for the best extract.
2. We love the look (and flavor) that the vanilla bean seeds give to the extract. If you prefer, you can scrape the seeds from the pods before inserting them in the bottles. Alternatively, you can leave the seeds in and then strain the extract through a coffee filter prior to gifting.
3. If you leave the beans in the bottle be sure to let the recipient know to keep topping the bottle off with more vodka, as the beans will get slimy if exposed. You can always remove the beans prior to gifting.
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