Vanilla Extract is easy to make. You simply add vanilla beans to rum or vodka. It just takes some patience because it takes at least three months for the vanilla to be ready to use.
I usually have 1-2 bottles "brewing", so I have plenty of vanilla on hand. I lightly shake the bottles throughout the "brewing" process.
During the first several weeks, the smell of the alcohol will be strong. As the alcohol extracts the flavor from the beans, the vanilla will darken the vodka and the alcohol smell will be less strong and you will be able to smell vanilla.
I prefer Bourbon or Madagascar vanilla beans, because they have the classic, robust flavor that is typically associated with vanilla. Tahitian vanilla beans are more fruity and Mexican vanilla beans are a little spicy.
You can use grade A or grade B vanilla beans. Grade A vanilla beans are oily and moist and are more visually attractive. Grade B vanilla beans are less moist and less attractive. Either will work fine in making vanilla extract.
I hope you enjoy!
- 3 cups good rum or vodka
- 9 vanilla beans
- Split the vanilla beans, lengthwise. Do not remove the seeds.
- Put the vanilla beans and seeds in the rum or vodka.
- Seal, label with the date and let set for at least 3 months.
- Pour rum or vodka and vanilla beans through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the beans and seeds. Put the vanilla in a tightly sealed container.