How to Make Vanilla Extract
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From Chloe's Kitchen

Chloe Tuttle, Innkeeper

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1607 Big Mill Road
Williamston, North Carolina 27892
252-792-8787 •

How to Make Vanilla Extract


3 or 4 vanilla beans

1 cup vodka (some recipes use bourbon, light rum or brandy)

Step by Step

You will need some cute glass bottles with tight-fitting lids.

Slit each bean using a very sharp knife – slit the bean except for an inch at the end. If you cut too much the seeds will come out and cloud the vanilla. This isn’t a problem, just doesn’t look as pretty. You can strain through cheesecloth or a coffee filter if it bothers you.

Put beans into a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover with the vodka. Shake.

Store in a cool, dark place for at least a month – longer is better. Shake the jar every once in a while. This wonderful elixir will last for years. As you use it up, just add more vodka, and give the bottle a shake or two.

I used three beans for the small bottle of Absolut Vodka (200 ml) and six beans for the larger bottle of Absolut (375 ml), just remember to use 3 beans per cup of vodka. It isn’t necessary to use the high quality of vodka like Absolut, but I really like the bottle!

Vanilla beans can be difficult to find. I found mine at Costco during the holidays for 10 Madagascar beans for $12. That is an excellent price. Trader Joes has them also during the holiday season.

Just a thought –

Commercial vanilla extract often has a sweetener added to take away the bitter aftertaste.  You can add simple syrup (sugar water) if you want.

Homemade Vanilla Extract is a great idea for holiday gifts. Recipe from Chloe at Big Mill |

How to make vanilla extract – recipe from Big Mill B&B makes great holiday gift

© 2008 Chloe Tuttle. All rights reserved. For personal use only. Not to be reprinted without permission.