Prep 20 mins
Cook 1344 hrs
My FH and I have a gaggle of girlfriends and love showing our friends how much we adore them. Keeping costs low when buying presents, such as Valentine's Day Presents, is difficult when you have a large group of friends, so homemade gifts are our solution! We decided to make a batch of homemade vanilla extract (sooo much better than store bought) and spent less than $50.00 on 15 presents! This is a gift that keeps on giving because once the extract is all used up, it can be topped off with more vodka or used to make vanilla sugar! We snazzed our bottles up by making labels as well as dressing them up with a bow and instruction tag!
- 1 3⁄4 liters vodka, mid-shelf brand is perfect
- 30 tahitian vanilla beans, buying online is much more economical
- ***You will need 15, 4oz Round Bottom Glass bottles with tight fitting caps, if you plan on making these as gifts.***.
- Choose two vanilla beans per bottle, one plump and one on the thinner side (for consistent flavor between all bottles).
- Score both vanilla beans lengthwise.
- Cut one of the scored vanilla beans in to 1" pieces.
- Cut second scored vanilla bean in half.
- Add 1" pieces of first vanilla bean into bottle; then add halved vanilla bean, cut side down.
- Add 1/2 cup of vodka into bottle, fasten cap tightly.
- Repeat for all 15 bottles.
- Place all 15 bottles on window sill so they are in the sun; leave in sun overnight.
- Lightly flip each bottle over gently to agitate contents and remove from sunlight.
- Allow vanilla beans to continue to steep in vodka for 6-8 weeks before use.
- OPTIONAL: Stretch out the life of your vanilla beans by doing one of two things: 1. Continually top off bottles with more vodka to continue extracting more vanilla from beans. This can be continued until vodka no longer turns brown; this is when your vanilla bean should be discarded. OR 2. Remove vanilla beans from bottle and allow to dry on flat, non-porous surface. Add vanilla bean to a water/air-tight container and cover vanilla beans with white or brown sugar. Keep container closed for one week. After one week enjoy your homemade vanilla sugar! :).