With 2 ingredients and patience, it couldn’t be simpler to make pure vanilla extract at home. And here is the recipe!
- 3 good quality grade-B vanilla beans (find them at Amazon)
- 1 cup of good quality vodka (or rum, bourbon, brandy)
Slice the vanilla beans in half lengthwise, then cut them into pieces to fit the bottle.
Place the beans in a clean, small glass bottle (with a wide mouth) and cover with the vodka, making sure the beans are fully submerged.
Keep the closed bottle in a cool, dark place (I keep it a cupboard away from the light but where I can still see it every day), shake the bottle once a day for the first week then a few times a week afterwards. Let infuse for 2 months (for a stronger flavour) before starting to use the vanilla extract.
When using the vanilla extract (I use it straight from the bottle), just top up with a bit of vodka to keep the beans submerged.
At 6 months (I write on a label the date I made the extract), remove the beans from the extract (the extraction has pretty much completely happened), and replace them with new vanilla beans (writing on the label this new date).