How to make vanilla extract

Vanilla extract

I probably should have shared this recipe two months ago, but I've got terrible timing. And as a result I've screwed you out of giving your granny a perfectly good, homemade gift this holiday season. Well, kind of. Because, between you and me, you could totally buy one of those cheap bottles of vanilla extract, transfer it to a glass amber bottle, put a bow on it and tell granny you made it yourself. Chances are she won't know the difference, anyway. But that would be a really terrible thing to do the woman who used to wipe your father's ass.

The best part about making vanilla extract is the fact that all you have to do is let the vanilla beans and alcohol mingle in a dark place for a few months and voila! vanilla extract. Let it mingle for 9-12 months and you won't be sorry. I used organic vodka and madagascar vanilla beans, but it'd be much cheaper to use that lower grade vodka you used to get drunk on in high school. And any variety of vanilla beans will do, but I prefer madagascar.


3 vanilla beans
1 cup 80 proof vodka

Using a paring knife, split the vanilla beans lengthwise, leaving 1/4" uncut at the end. Place the vanilla beans in a glass jar and cover with alcohol. Seal jar tightly then store in a dark, cool area of your house (such as a closet) and shake every 2-3 weeks, for at least three months. The longer you wait, the richer your vanilla extract will be. When you're ready to bottle your extract, get yourself some four ounce amber bottles and share it with the people you love most.

Yield: 1 cup


  1. Don't talk about my dead grandmother like that...
    *doing a little Christmas dance* I have my very own bottle of Ashlae's special vanilla extract!

  2. I also love giving people vanilla sugar, just by storing sliced vanilla beans in raw sugar!

  3. this is awesome!!

  4. haha you are hilarious! and this is really awesome. i will definitely be giving this a go ;)

  5. Well, this is the best excuse to buy a bottle of vodka if I ever saw one.

    And how come CARA gets your homemade vanilla extract? She doesn't deserve it one bit.

    That's a lie. She definitely deserves it. I'm just trying to make myself feel better here.
    But! Thanks for this. It'll come in handy for sure :)

    Why are you so caught up talking about asses lately?

  6. I had no idea it was so simple to make! I want to go buy some vodka and vanilla beans right this second.

  7. Hey, I'm standing right here, Isobelle. I can hear you.

    That's better. You are damn right I deserve it :)

    And yeah, Ashlae, answer the question.

  8. Pft, Izzy - don't act like you need an excuse to buy a bottle of vodka.

    And I dunno, girls. I like big butts and I cannot lie?

  9. You're right.
    We should get some and then buy a bunch of rave gear:

    I'm particularly interested to the furry leg warmers. I'm thinking Madonna would approve.

    (oh, and I only know that site exists because I was listening to a rave radio station last night to get myself motivated to finish a painting)

  10. The furry leg warmers to which you're referring are called fluffies, Izzy. And I want some of those, too.

    But, the air flow lights freak me out. I have a feeling someone tripping on X might try to stick that thing up somewhere it doesn't belong. Like my ass. WORSTRAVEEVER

  11. yesssss. i bought vanilla beans for this very purpose oh, 6 months ago? and they've been sitting on my counter taunting me ever since. new year's resolution #2: buy some vodka and get to it.

  12. HA! yeah, that's probably true. I didn't see the air flow lights. But flashing lights tend to freak me a bit anyway from past "experiences".

    You think about (and refer to) asses a lot, Ashlae. I'd probably feel really self conscious around you..

  13. Wow, that's so simple.
    It would be such a great holiday gift too!