Make Your Own #3: Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Extract

Why make your own vanilla extract? It’s so easy! You need only to think ahead. Good extract will take a few months to procure, but you will be able to ‘top off’ your extract for ongoing vanilla deliciousness. How economic!

    What you will need: 

  • mason jar with lid
  • vanilla beans {learn more about varieties here}
  • scissors or a sharp knife
  • vodka
  1. Split vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp knife or kitchen scissors. Leave an inch at the end connected.
  2. Put vanilla beans in a glass jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Cover completely with the vodka. {You could also use brandy or bourbon for an infused cocktail starter instead of extract.}
  3. Give the bottle a good shake every once in a while. Store in a dark, cool place for 2 months or longer. Feel free to top off with more vodka to extend your vanilla goodness and save more cash money.


Stronger Extract: Use a higher-proof alcohol and scrape the seeds from the bean.
Weaker Extract: Use a lesser-proof alcohol and soak beans intact.
To strain and bottle for storage: Use a very fine strainer, coffee filter, or paper towel to strain.
Vodka usually gives the highest alcohol content. Brandy adds additional flavor, which some folks may or may not prefer.

Vanilla Hero