Homemade Vanilla Extract


I pretty much feel like I’m a vanilla expert at this point.  Ok, so that was a joke.  However, let me save you some time with my experiences.  A couple years ago, I did a “homemade month” where I decided I was going to make everything that I felt like I spent too much money on to see if it was worth the hassle.  I kept lots of those things in my routine!  Vanilla was one of them.  The only annoying thing about making vanilla is having to wait a few months to use it.  That means forethought and patience.  However, you SAVE SO MUCH MONEY!  My first batch I did with vodka.  It tasted like vanilla but not the depth of flavor that I was used to.  So, my next batch I did with bourbon.  This is the way to go.  So rich, bold, and perfect! I was also doing this in a mason jar before.  That is sort of a disaster because it gets caught up around the rim and sometimes sticks.  I found these cute flip top bottles at Meijer for nothin’.  So I decided this go round I would make my vanilla in this.


  • 5 vanilla beans
  • 12 oz bourbon

Shake the bottle every few days for a couple months.

I used these ratios but really this is open to interpretation.  Use as many or as little as you want in order to get the intensity of vanilla flavor you want.  Penzey’s makes a double strength vanilla that you can use at half the dose for the same flavor or you can up your vanilla flavor by using the double strength in the same quantity the recipe calls for.  All this vanilla is, is double the amount of beans to make the same amount of extract.  Moral of the story, they more beans you add, the stronger the vanilla will be.