Vanilla Extract

Total Time:
3 min
2 min
1 min

1 bottle


Combine the vanilla beans and vodka in a jar tall enough to hold the vanilla beans. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for at least a month until the vodka becomes vanilla extract and the beans are soft enough to cut the end and squeeze the seeds out. Add more vanilla or beans, as needed. The extract can sit at room temperature indefinitely.

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    Genuine flavors and making-techniques. Have done this exact recipe for more than 30 years.  
    Great to have someone on well-known TV show to demonstrate the making of oils, vinegars, etc. 
    As an aside...think of using this recipe, buying empty bottles with stopper and making xmas gifts. A long-term memory! Enjoy! 
    Annie, Fremont, CA 
    I think this recipe is very clear! I am brewing a liter (1.25 bottles of vodka in preparation as Holiday gifts. I found a set of 20 stopper bottles at a thrift store, each holding 50ml. My calculation is beans $19, Vodka $32, Ribbon/label decor supplies $9, put each of these Holiday gifts at about $3 for fabulous Vanilla.
    People have left reviews complaining about not being told how much vodka is needed... Think about it... it all depends on how big your jar is, right? Just add enough to cover the beans and let it sit for a few months.
    I have made vanilla for years. I use a small canning jar (jelly jar and put in 1 or 2 split vanilla beans. Then I fill the jar with vodka. It takes a few months for this to process, but it's worth the time. In the meanwhile buy a jar of good vanilla, and as you use about 1/4 of it, add more vodka, and shake up the jar. Keep adding vodka as you use the vanilla. This should keep you until your vanilla is ready. As you use your jelly jar vanilla, keep adding more vodka. It will last a very, very long time. I read of one person who had the same jar of vanilla for 25 years.
    Pure vanilla extract is so expensive! After learning to do it this way, I always have a bottle in the back of my cabinet "brewing". Avoid light exposure. I've learned that it's best after 4-6 months. I generally use 3/4 cup vodka + 1 vanilla bean (halved & split down the middle to get seeds out right away). Who needs 750ml of vanilla extract?!?
    I haven't tried it yet but will as soon as I can get the beans. I hate to pay for vanilla extract. It comes in such small bottles and I do use it a lot.
    A typical, standard, bottle of vodka is usually 750ml.
    I'm a huge fan of Ina and all her recipes, but I gave this a poor rating due to lack of instructions . . . . ie. how much vodka, a pint, a quart, a gallon? How many many beans per . . . pint, quart or gallon? It would also be helpful if we were given an idea of what type of bean is best to use, Madagascar, Tahitian, etc. Foodnetwork, can you help us out here now that there are 2 reviews asking the same questions . . . how much vanilla bean and how much vodka do we use?
    Vodka-----half pint, pint, fifth, quart or gallon???
    At the end of this recipe, it is suggested that you can add vanilla or vanilla beans. Should this read you can add more vodka or vanilla bean???
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    Vanilla Extract

    Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten