Homemade Vanilla Extract: Part 1 – The Bohemian Kitchen

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A few months back, a friend of mine became very excited about vanilla beans and sent me a link with instructions for making vanilla extract. I decided immediately that I would have to make it.

If you’re a fellow baker, then you already know how often vanilla extract is called for in recipes and how expensive it is to buy the pure stuff. So of course I loved the idea of making my own, not only in the name of frugality but also just because, why the hell not? I want to see if it works!

After weeks of procrastination, I finally got my ass to the grocery store and shelled out the money for real vanilla beans (I got two of them for $4.79 at Bulk Barn) and then over to the friendly neighbourhood LCBO to grab a bottle of vodka. The only other thing needed is a clean glass jar, which I have plenty on hand.

The beans aren’t quite what I expected. I thought they would be hard and brittle, but instead they are soft and malleable, almost resin-like. This makes it easy to split them down the middle, leaving the ends intact. Next, fit them inside a glass jar to cover with alcohol. The recipe calls for 3 beans and 1 cup of vodka, but I only had 2 beans so I just used 3/4 cup of vodka instead. That should be okay.

After one night of sitting in the cupboard, the vodka already has an amber tinge. It needs to sit for at least 2 months before it is ready to use, so I’ll provide an update at the halfway mark and again when it is completed.

**UPDATE Available here!**

I’m really excited to see if it works. Has anyone else made their own extracts?

Homemade Vanilla Extract