Making Homemade Vanilla Extract (aka…Why Laura Bought a Gallon of Vodka)By
Yes indeed. The four boys and I went into Walmart a few days ago for the sole purpose of buying vodka. A gallon of it.
I felt the need to tell the check out lady why I was buying an entire gallon of vodka. She just looked at me like I was a lunatic and shrugged as if to say, “Hey, do whatever you want to with your vodka, girl.”
And then she wouldn’t let Justus carry it out of the store. You know…just in case I was buying the vodka for my nine year old minor.
It made for some good discussion on the way home: what drinking alcohol can do to your brain…why the lady had to make sure I was over 21 to buy it…why it’s okay to carry a watermelon out of Walmart when you’re nine but not a couple jugs of vodka.
All that to say: I just started my very first batch of homemade vanilla!!! I’m super excited. My friend Jill sent me a beautiful bottle of her homemade vanilla a couple of weeks ago and it’s fabulous!!! (I guess you could say that I was pressured by a friend into buying alcohol. “Go ahead Laura…make your own vanilla. Everyone’s doing it.”)
Now that I’m hooked on the idea…I thought I’d try to influence you too…
You will need:
A gallon jar
One gallon of Vodka (the cheap stuff is fine) (To keep you from standing in the liquor section too long to calculate this…2 bottles of 1.75 liters each will be the exact amount you need to make a gallon of vanilla.)
80 Vanilla Beans (You’ll need about 3/4 pound to have 80 beans) – enter code home for a 10% discount on Vanilla Beans through Olive Nation!!
Begin by slicing through each bean lengthwise, leaving about one inch at the top of each bean uncut so that it stays together.
See? Like this…
Place all of your cut Vanilla Beans into your jar.
Fill the jar with vodka. (I took the following picture with my left hand while pouring the vodka with my right hand. This proves that apparently…I can really handle my liquor.)
Once the jar is full with beans and vodka, put the lid on…then put the jar in a dark place (like in the back of a cabinet). It needs to stay there for FOUR to SIX MONTHS in order to become vanilla extract! Occasionally, you should get it out and shake it up a bit, then put it back into it’s dark place.
Here’s the cool thing: If you start a batch of vanilla really soon…it will be ready in time to put into little bottles and give as Christmas gifts. (Family members reading this…you have exactly six months to forget all about this post and be surprised on Christmas morning.) If you don’t get it started right this minute…from what I’ve researched…a little less than six months of “vanilla extracting” time won’t hurt anything.
To complete your vanilla once six months have passed: strain out your vanilla beans with a coffee filter lined colander and tada…you have vanilla extract! Bottle it up in dark amber bottles - give it as gifts and start cooking with it yourself!! Yum!
AND…if you don’t want to make a whole gallon of vanilla…you can make a lesser amount:
- 1/2 gallon of vanilla….use 1/2 gallon of vodka (1.75 liters) and 40 Vanilla Beans (enter code home for a 10% discount!)
- 1 quart of vanilla…use one quart of vodka and 20 Vanilla Beans (enter code home for a 10% discount!)
Well…I know I’ve influenced many of you to eat healthier and plant potatoes in a container. Is it now possible that several of you are going to run out to buy liquor? Tell the clerk the Heavenly Homemaker sent you.
I recommend that you purchase your Vanilla Beans through Olive Nation!! You’ll receive FREE SHIPPING and if you enter the code home you’ll receive 10% off your entire order!!!! (The free shipping applies to vanilla bean purchases only!) I bought my most recent batch of vanilla beans through Olive Nation and was VERY happy with their prices, promptness and quality of vanilla beans. Plus free shipping and a 10% discount? It can’t be beat! Thank you Olive Nation for offering HeavenlyHomemakers readers free shipping and a special 10% discount!