Vanilla Extract


Homemade vanilla is almost effortless and only requires two ingredients – vanilla beans and alcohol.  It will require some patience to get the best flavor from the beans but the result is so much more flavorful than store bought.

The choice of alcohol is up to you.  I typically use vodka because it has a very neutral flavor but bourbon, tequila, brandy or rum would work fine also.  I don’t purchase a very expensive alcohol to do this but I don’t go bottom shelf either.  A reasonably priced, 80 proof alcohol is what you are looking for.

You can use this vanilla extract after a couple of months but the flavor becomes even better as you let it age.

I bought these cute jars at a craft store and love to give them out for homemade gifts.  One of these jars has only been sitting a short time, the darker one has been sitting for a few months.


Vanilla Extract

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Vanilla Extract


  • 3-5 vanilla beans
  • 1 C alcohol


  1. Cut your vanilla beans in half lengthwise. You can also cut them down so they fit well in your jar. I cut my vanilla bean into several pieces to fit into my little jars.
  2. Put the vanilla beans into a clean jar and completely cover them with the alcohol.
  3. Store your jar in a cool, dark place for a minimum of a month. As you think about it, give it a shake.
  4. You can leave your vanilla beans in your extract or remove them. If you don't care for the flecks in the final product, you could strain them through a coffee filter.


  1. The alcohol used is VODKA.

  2. All of the recipes I have read use Vodka for the alcohol.

  3. What type of Alcohol is best for the extract?

  4. What type of alcohol?

  5. What type of alcohol?

  6. I am new to this; what type of alcohol do you use?

  7. Helen Britton

    What kind of alcohol: rubbing alcohol, drinking alcohol ex: wine, brandy, whiskey?????
    Not a drinker, please be specific

  8. Great idea for holiday gifts. Get started now and the perfect. Distill / redting time. Make a bottle for yourself to use in holiday baking. Give a bag of a few cookies or candy tied to the bottle

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