Homemade Vanilla Extract…and Mint Extract!

 I started researching how to make vanilla extract on the Internet, and found out that it’s pretty much just alcohol and vanilla beans! I had heard from several people how much vanilla beans are at the store so I decided to take a look on amazon. Gotta love amazon. I ended up ordering 16 beans for 10 bucks. I only needed 3, so I can use the others to make ice cream, etc. However, it was like 10 bucks for 2 at the normal grocery store. I decided to go with the bulk for the same price. When I went to the store yesterday, I peaked at how much I pay for the 4 oz pure vanilla extract….$6.79. Then I went home and calculated how much my 8 oz homemade cost me and it was 7.63. That’s over $6 in savings for the volume! Here’s the kicker: I have to wait 2 months for it to be ready to use. Once it’s finished though, I can continually add to it. For example, if I use a teaspoon, I just add another teaspoon of alcohol back to it! That makes it one of those things you have to think about pretty far in advance. :( If you do a ton of baking for Christmas, it may be worth getting a jump this summer! It can sit in your cupboard for years without going bad. The other plus was it was super easy.

Vanilla Extract

  •  3 vanilla beans
  •  8 oz vodka ( I used Absolut but you could even use rum or bourbon)

Slice the vanilla beans lengthwise and put them in a glass jar, pour the vodka over the beans. Shake occasionally throughout the months as you check on it. That’s it!

Since there really a was nothing to it, I decided to try my hand at mint extract, too since I have a mint plant that grows back uncontrollably every year and some left over vodka.

Mint extract

  •  1/4 cup mint leaves
  •  1/2 cup vodka

Put the mint leaves in a glass jar, and pour the vodka over them. Wait….ugh.

So as far as ease is concerned, it’s almost ridiculous to post a recipe, but I won’t be able to speak to how it turns out for a couple months. :(

I will say that I looked up the cost of mint extract on Walmart’s website because they were the first to pop up, and it was $3.56 for 1 oz! My 4 oz cost me $2.84!!!! That is a difference of $11.40 for the same amount! I need to start a business, people!

In case anyone was wondering, the vodka was $17.99. Between the 2 extracts, I used a fairly good portion of the 750ml, but definitely have enough to make a few cocktails, add to my vanilla later, or make some more extracts…..since I’m such an expert at this point. ;) Maybe almond extract or lemon extract would be worth trying if I wanted to venture into something more complicated.

I am going to rate making extracts on a few categories 1-5 stars with 5 being the best end of the scale.
Ease: 5
Price: 5!
Worth the trouble: 3 ( this is the lowest score because it was kind of annoying to have to look for containers that were small enough, etc. Also, you have to be on top of your game to think 2 months in advance!)
Taste: TBD

I was going to wait to do ice cream last, but I’m getting anxious, and I just might make some this week since Cathy emailed me her recipe!

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