Homemade Vanilla Extract

I’ve been wanting to try making my own vanilla extract for a long time. The time finally came when I saw an amazing deal on vanilla beans that I couldn’t pass up. This is such a rich extract and so easy to make!

Homemade Vanilla Extract


  • 5-6 Vanilla Beans
  • 1 cup 80 proof Vodka or bourbon, brandy or rum
  • 8 ounce bottle/jar with tight seal washed and dried


  • Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean down the center so the middle is exposed. Place the split beans into the jar.
  • Pour the alcohol into jar, using a funnel, until beans are fully emerged. Then seal and shake a few times.
  • Store jars at room temperature in a cupboard out of direct sunlight. Shake once every few weeks.
  • Vanilla is ready to use after 2 months but is best to wait for at least 6-12 months. Longer it sits, the more depth of flavor you’ll have.
  • As you use the vanilla, you can refill with the same liquor to keep the extract going. You can keep it for about a year as long as you keep refilling it. If you aren’t refilling it, remove the vanilla beans completely after first use.
  • After a year, if the vanilla is less intense, you can remove the old beans and add news and keep going.

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