Normally, I am a wait ’til the last minute shopper for Christmas gifts but for some reason I thought about this.
Last year, I saw something about making your own vanilla extract. My local Natural Food Store carries bulk vanilla beans, so I picked some up and decided to give this a try.
The original recipe calls for 3-5 vanilla beans per 6 oz. of vodka. I had some unused vodka in the cabinet, so this is what I used just guessing on the amount of alcohol. It turned out great!
Here’s the step-by-step info. It really doesn’t get much easier.
Start by cutting your vanilla beans into little pieces.
If you press on the pieces, a little paste will come out. You can do this or not. I didn’t the first time I made it and it had a very good vanilla flavor. I did do it this time so we’ll see.
Place the pieces in the alcohol. I used 20 vanilla beans for a 750 ml bottle of vodka.
Tighten the lid and shake well.
At this point, it will look like a vanilla/vodka snow globe.
Place the bottle in the brown paper sack it came in and write the date on the bag.
Place the bag in a nearby cool and dark place. About once a week, give the bottle a good shake. In about 2 months (which will be around Christmas), the extract will be ready to use. At this time, you can strain the bean pieces out (or not-I didn’t) and place in a decorative, dark, glass bottle. This is definitely a home-made gift they will use and enjoy.