If you would have asked me a year ago if I would ever make homemade vanilla, I would have said no way, not a chance. But it turns out, its way easier than you think. All it takes is two simple ingredients, a bottle and some time.
Gather your supplies
- Grade A or B Vanilla Beans I mine on Amazon. The first time I used these Grade B beans and most recently decided to use the higher quality Grade A. I will say that there is a noticable difference in the amount of vanilla bean paste stuff in the grade A beans. But if you’re on a budget, the B ones definitely work!
- 70 proof Vodka Any brand will do. I used both Sams Club and Costco store brand!
- Bottles to store your vanilla.
I found some bigger 16 or so ounce bottles at the thrift store but think they’re a little too big for vanilla. So for my second time making vanilla I went with this set of 9 I found on Amazon.
Depending on how many bottles of vanilla you want to make will determine how many vanilla beans and vodka you need.
Other things you’ll need are a cutting board, small sharp knife and a funnel.
What to do.
The first thing you’ll want to do is wash all your bottles and let dry.
While they’re drying, you can gather your vanilla beans and cut each bean into three equal pieces. Then slice each section lengthwise exposing the tiny beans inside.
Next you’ll put some vanilla beans into each bottle. I used 5 pieces of the cut vanilla for the 8 ounce bottles. The more you use, the quicker the vanilla will brew. From my limited experience making vanilla, you’ll probably need to use more of the Grade B beans than if you decide to go with the Grade A.
Using the funnel, fill the jars with vodka, not quite all the way to the top of the jar and then close the bottle. I really like these flip top bottles because I feel like they give a good seal. They’re pretty cute too!
Then you wait! This is the worst part because it takes a good 8 weeks before you’ll have useable vanilla. But waiting 4-6 months is ideal. The great thing is that there is nothing artificial or weird in this vanilla. The longer it sits, the better it gets.
I made some cute labels on Canva for the first 4 bottles of homemade vanilla I made that looked like this.
But I found these cute ones on Amazon that would definitely do the trick.
What if I use all my homemade vanilla?
Don’t ever let your vanilla run all the way out. When it gets to the level of your beans, simply add a little bit more of the 70 proof vodka to cover the beans. You probably won’t want to fill it all the way up because you’ll have to wait longer for it ti brew again. But adding a little won’t make a huge difference. Especially if you’ve left the beans in the vanilla the whole time. I’ve been using this jar for a good 6 months now and have added vodka at least once, maybe twice.
Have you ever made Vanilla Extract? If you have questions, drop them below.
This post contains links to products on Amazon that I may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase.