I Need Some Vodka

This post probably isn’t going to be about what you think it’s going to be about. See, I actually don’t drink alcoholic beverages. But with cooking, sometimes you just need certain alcoholic beverages. Enter: Making extracts. 

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making vanilla extract since last summer, but time got away from me and I never got around to it. Well this summer I am determined to give it a go! AND I just realized I could just go whole-hog crazy and make mint, orange, and lemon extract too {and so many others…}. Oh boy, oh boy.

Which brings me to my slight hang up with this whole deal. I’m not opposed to buying alcohol, that’s not the problem. The problem is, I’m totally clueless. As in, all of the knowledge I have about alcoholic beverages up to this point in my life has come mostly from country songs. Are you laughing? Because I’m 100% serious right now. To this day I’ll be singing along to the radio and realize, “Oh, that’s a drink, not someones name!” Yes, you can ridicule me – it’s totally warranted.

I have learned about different wines and drinks like that from cooking shows. I could spend time learning more, but since I’m not interested in drinking I don’t really feel it’s worth my time. Taking a trip to Germany when I was 16 was pretty enlightening on the beer front. And I also may or may not have toured the Coors Brewery in Golden Colorado two summers ago while I was 20 weeks pregnant to see how the whole brewing process goes down.


Brewing is actually really connected to agriculture in a number of ways, in case you wondered why that would even be interesting to someone who doesn’t drink. And it was really interesting! I needed a drink when the tour was over. No, not that kind of drink!! Like a pregnant-lady-needs-her-water kind of drink!

Anyways. I’m clueless. If I had to order a drink for someone at a bar it would be a vodka martini, shaken, not stirred. Like really, really clueless. So I asked a friend if she would accompany me to the liquor store to buy some vodka. She, of course, agreed {I think it would be just as amusing for her as it would be for me} but I still have a slight problem. Apparently there are different kinds of vodka. Maybe they use different potatoes? Just kidding. I still have to find out what kind of vodka is best for making extracts. And then figure out how much I need. Which would be simple, you’d think. Except when recipes just tell you to go with “the kind you like best.” Hmm. Or measure out a certain number of shot glasses worth. Hmm.


Have you ever made extracts? Just tell me which kind of vodka to use!!! And like a cup measurement. Or it could even be ounces. Or liters. Or baby bottles. Anything but shot glasses worth. Ok?

If I make all my extracts in the next little while, they will be ready in time for holiday cooking! And what would be better than homemade extract made with homemade mint in homemade baked goods for the holidays? So much homemade.

All my love & please help me buy the right vodka,

Alli AKA the clueless-non-drinker AKA the girl who needs to buy vodka, but not drink it AKA that pregnant girl at Coors Brewery.

PS: I just realized why there are jokes about drinking vanilla extract. Ha. Haha. HA! My intelligence does not shine through when dealing with alcoholic beverages. Just remember that and go read a post where I talk about animals or land so you can remind yourself that my strengths lie in other areas, mmkay?

PPS: Will I need a special kitchen gadget to get the lid of the vodka off?

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  • Reply
    Homemade Vanilla Extract • Longbourn Farm
    August 10, 2016 at 9:49 AM […] few months ago, I wrote a post lamenting how I really wanted to make homemade vanilla extract but was having trouble knowing what […]
  • Reply
    Jenny H
    April 8, 2016 at 9:54 AM I make vanilla extract all the time. You want something around 80proof and whatever is cheapest. You don't need it to be really nice since you are flavoring it with vanilla beans and only use a bit in each recipe anyway. I've made it using cheap vodka and expensive vodka, nice rum and nice bourbon. I won't make bourbon again as I don't like the flavor of bourbon so it really didn't add anything to my records that I liked. I do like to have some with rum (I use Appleton) because rum adds a nice sweetness that is a fun way to change things up. But when I want the pure flavor of my Madagascar, Ugandan or Tahitian vanilla beans to shine is cheap vodka for me. I like to use 2oz per bean and let it sit (shaken every couple days) for at least 2-3 months before I use any but it truly does get better with age. I have never made mint extract or any other extract so I'm not sure if are any tricks of the trade for those ones. Have fun.
    • Reply
      April 8, 2016 at 9:57 AM GREAT info!!!! Thank you! I'll keep you posted on the mint and anything else I make. Thanks!
  • Reply
    April 7, 2016 at 1:00 PM This post brought some amusement to my life in the midst of the statistics lecture I'm sitting in. I would recommend finding the most flavor neutral vodka [ (most domestic bottles will meet this requirement provided you aren't going to a craft distillery). Don't spend a lot of money!-cheaper vodka will work just fine. Most vodka is 70 proof to 80 proof (35%-40% alcohol content). Be sure you don't accidently purchase something more potent! (Side note: I was curious so I googled this: some people use a light rum when they make vanilla extract. Others mix bourbon. Apparently, you have options!) And no. No fancy bottle opener for vodka; just a twist of the wrist. Let me know how this works out!
    • Reply
      April 7, 2016 at 2:00 PM Yes! Thank you Christie!! So much good information. I will definitely be posting an update when I make it. I have seen the rum and bourbon mentioned as well, I think those would be a good follow up experiment so I could do some comparisons on flavor. Making ice cream would probably be the best medium to test these in, I'll invite you to the comparison party! :)

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