Wednesday, November 4, 2015

DIY Vanilla Extract


Once Halloween wraps up and November 1 hits, I feel a distinct change in the air. It's the HOLIDAY SEASON!

I love this time of year. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, followed (literally and figuratively) by Christmas. And you know what my favorite part about all of this is? 2 months of gifting, giving and sharing. I definitely started my gifting list yesterday, and I most certainly started Christmas shopping two weeks ago.

So, if you're a holiday season lover and looking for an easy-peasy gift that keeps on giving, look no further than Homemade Vanilla Extract! I'm posting this recipe now because if you want it to be ready to use by Christmas, you need to begin the process like....now.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

  • 1 cup vodka, dark rum, or bourbon 
  • 8-10 whole vanilla beans, split down the middle
  • Glass jar with tight sealing lid
  • Bottle jars
I chose vodka for my vanilla extract- you'll notice the color is much lighter than commercially produced vanilla since we're omitting any sort of food coloring or syrup. If you'd like a nice, rich color I'd recommend using rum or bourbon- the flavor of your vanilla will also have a bit more depth to it, so it's a win-win! Heck- you could make a trio of vanillas and be the vanilla queen. 

Anyway.

Add your split vanilla beans to the glass jar. Pour vodka over and be sure that all the beans are covered. Give your jar a good shake, then set aside.........for 8 weeks. 

Yeah- 8 weeks. You'll want to shake the jar once or twice every week. At the end of 8 weeks, you can separate the vanilla into smaller bottles, garnishing with a fresh vanilla bean in each. 

Enjoy!