OK, so maybe I’m a weirdo, but I often make my own vanilla extract. I like a nice high quality extract, but it can be very expensive to buy in the store. Most real vanilla extract goes for $3 and up per ounce in the grocery store, that’s crazy!
I’m going to show you how to make 24 oz. of real vanilla extract for around $15. You may ask, “how does he do it, is he a wizard?”
First we need just two ingredients vanilla beans and vodka, no really, just two!
Start off with 3 vanilla beans per cup of vodka. So for this 750ml. bottle of vodka, you’ll need 9 vanilla beans.
You don’t need any highfalutin vodka, just get some cheap stuff, depending on where you live you should be able to get 750ml. for around $5
I get my beans from Amazon.com, you can currently get a dozen Madagascar vanilla beans for around $10. Today, I’m using Mexican vanilla beans, they are my favorite.
Now you’ll want nice fresh vanilla beans, they should be shiny and very fragrant. They should have a very “leathery” texture. They shouldn’t be small and brittle, those aren’t fresh beans.
Now just cut each bean in half, and with the tip of a knife split down the middle lengthwise.
now if the bottle of vodka is filled right to the top, take off a scant 1/4 cup (this will give you 3 even cups) to make room for the beans, do what you will with that 1/4 cup of vodka, an impromptu martini?
Just take the split beans and place them in the bottle, place the top back on the vodka and you are done, well almost…
Now is just waiting for it to steep, and this is going to take a while. You want the extract to steep for at least a month… what, too slow for ya?
About once a week give the bottle a shimmy shake, and take a whiff. You’ll notice over time it will smell less like alcohol and more like sweet delicious vanilla. Whoever equated vanilla with boring, never had the good stuff!