Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract

A few months ago, I wrote a post lamenting how IΒ really wanted to make homemade vanilla extract but was having trouble knowing what kind of alcohol to use {non-drinker here!} and what ratio’s to go with. I did some more research, had SO many helpful suggestions from all of you, and finally made them last week!Β 

I’ll outline what I did, and then give updates in the coming months on how they are turning out.

First, I actually ended up making homemade vanilla extract, lemon extract, and mint extract. I have since decided I also need to try almond and about 10 others.Β It’s just so much fun!

And no, not because I had a few sips while I was getting this all ready πŸ™‚

Although Abram was really positive he needed a drink of whatever was in that giant bottle…ha!

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Per many recommendations from you awesome readers, I went with a cheap vodka. You can also use rum {and I’ve heard bourbon as well} but vodka is kind of like a blank base for the vanilla to shine through, the others add some extra flavor. Since this was my first experiment, I wanted to go basic so I’d have something like a “control” to compare to in the future.

I know, it’s the scientist in me. I just can’t help it.

Anyways, I picked the vodka purely on what was cheapest since the overwhelming majority of research and personal opinion suggested that was fine.

All the details on making homemade vanilla extract. Also learn how to make mint extract and lemon extract as well! Get the details on what to use!

I bought these adorableΒ Swing Top Glass Bottles to put everything in and estimated I’d need about a liter of vodka. Actually, my friend who took me to the liquor store helped me estimate that amount. She is a very good friend. She had the compassion to accompany a very pregnant lady with a toddler into a liquor store.Β In Utah. I think she deserves a medal.

The vanilla beans I purchased aren’t available anymore, but these Vanilla Beans are similar and would work just as well.Β The only caveat you need to be aware of when purchasing beans is that they need to be soft and pliable.

They will be labeled as “fresh” or something similar. Don’t use dried vanilla beans. I ordered mine because that was the easiest thing for me since I didn’t want to drive all over creation trying to find them in a store. I have heard rumors that Costco sells them, let me know if that is the truth! Although we don’t have a Costco here. I know, it brings a tear to my eyes as well.

You’ll need about 2 ounces of whatever alcohol you choose per vanilla bean. This amount almost covered the beans, so I just topped them off a bit and used a little extra per bottle.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

For lemon extract, I used about 1 cup of lemon zest {it was from 2 lemons} and 8 ounces of vodka.

For the mint extract, I used about 1 cup of fresh mint from my gardenΒ {just regular mint, not spearmint} and 8 ounces of vodka.

I came up with these ratios after looking atΒ manyΒ recipes I found online. They were all pretty much the same, I used a little more lemon and mint per amount of alcohol so they may be more potent. Only time will tell!

This was really easy to do, the hardest part is going to be waiting! They should be ready for holiday baking, which will be fantastic. I can’t wait! As I said before, I’ll be posting updates on how they turn out.

Have you ever made homemade vanilla extract?

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    August 10, 2017 at 11:34 AM […] I made my homemade vanilla extract {and the other extracts} I used a cheap vodka for the base. I let it sit from August until December […]
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    December 5, 2016 at 9:21 PM […] I add quite a bit of vanilla to mine so the icing has a slight vanilla edge. I used some of my homemade vanilla extract for this batch of icing and I added the vanilla before I smelled it. After smelling it, I realized […]
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    August 11, 2016 at 9:56 AM I've wanted to try making my own vanilla extract - and I had never even considered other extracts until now, but now I want to make them too! But, I've had a similar problem being a non-drinker. Maybe I'll work up the courage to try it though. I'm excited to hear how yours turn out!
    • Reply
      August 11, 2016 at 2:25 PM I will keep you posted! And I feel pretty comfortable with what to purchase now, having been once. I'd be your escort ;) ha!

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