Based on the blogs I read, it feels like making vanilla extract from scratch is quite the trend. As I mentioned earlier, it’s just two ingredients―vanilla and vodka. You put the two in a jar together for a couple months and the vanilla flavor seeps into the vodka. Easy, right?
I’ve never used real vanilla beans before, but have always wanted to. Plus I love making things from scratch…so I had to try this out for myself.
I paid $11 for organic vanilla beans on Amazon (I chose this seller from a recommendation on another blog, plus their customer reviews are stellar.)
Add $6.29 for a 750ml bottle of cheap vodka. I bought the cheapest on the shelf, because the taste doesn’t really matter–once the vanilla extract is put in your recipe, the vodka burns off in the oven leaving just the flavor of vanilla behind.
I used 12 of the vanilla beans for my recipe. The general ratio is 3 beans to a cup of vodka. I had about 3-1/2 cups of vodka.
I sliced the beans in half and scraped out the seeds.
Then I dropped the seeds and the beans into a big quart jar.
Pour the vodka over everything.
And seal the jar.
Now I just need to wait. I’ll shake it once or twice a week; then strain out the beans and seeds with cheesecloth. Articles I’ve read say anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months for the flavor to really come out.
After just two weeks you can see the color of the vodka becoming a rich brown from the vanilla:
Is it worth the money to make from scratch?
The vanilla extract I typically buy costs about $9 for 11 ounces. The recipe I’m making works out to just over $6 per 11oz bottle.
I’ll let you know in a couple months how it tastes–then I’ll really be able to tell if this recipe is worth it!