Homemade Vanilla Extract

I wonder how my days go by so quickly with so little accomplished. I’ve decided to blame it on the fact that everything takes longer than normal. Everything is still foreign to me. So, I guess I just take my sweet time trying to get used to these foreign things.

Going to the grocery store, for example, takes me about 45 minutes no matter how many items I need to get. It’s just this whole new, exciting, and frustrating place that I still don’t understand. I can’t run in, grab my things and get the heck out of there. No, no. Nothing is in the same place and nothing is packaged the same so everything is hard to find. Once I believe I have finally found what I’m looking for, I try to translate the German, French, or Italian that is written on the package; all of which I don’t speak. Thank goodness for my iPhone and Google translator.

One aisle I spend a lot of time in is the baking aisle. No surprise there. They have all these crazy marzipan shaped things that I’m excited to try. But, they don’t have two very essential baking supplies: brown sugar and vanilla extract. Oh and chocolate chips but I think I already whined about that. I managed to find a box of brown sugar in the gourmet grocery store, Jelmoli, but the vanilla extract they sold cost $25 for a smaller than average bottle. I am too cheap for such a thing, so it was time to make my own.

And guess what? It is so easy! The hardest part is waiting, but it’s manageable, promise.



Homemade Vanilla Extract:

5 vanilla beans, split lengthwise

1 cup cheap vodka (or bourbon, rum…)

Sealable bottle


Put the vanilla beans in your bottle.

*note that I used 3 vanilla beans and about 3/4 cup vodka since that was the size of my bottle, but 5 vanilla beans to 1 cup vodka is the traditional ratio.


Pour in vodka.


Seal the bottle and watch it transform into vanilla over the next 6 weeks!


You can leave the beans in and add more vodka when you finish your first batch. The vanilla beans are good for a year.


You even have some leftover cheap vodka to enjoy. You’re welcome.

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