I always like to make something homemade for holiday gifts and over the years I’ve made kahlua, spice rub, wine charms, and music cds. Really I just want an excuse to order from myownlabels.com. I think I love the packaging of stuff as much as making it!
So every year I try and come up with something new to make friends and family. This year, I decided on homemade vanilla extract. Since it takes a few months to marinate, I figured I’d better get started. It couldn’t be easier!
First I bought three 1/2 gallon Ball canning jars from Michaels – they are fairly large and perfectly hold 1.75 liters of vodka. Next, I ordered some vanilla beans online from Amadeus Vanilla Beans. (They sell all sorts of vanilla beans and have fun recipes on their website. I think I’m going to make some vanilla sugar with the leftover beans after they do their thing for the extract!)
Next, I cut about 35 beans in half lengthwise and stuck them in one of the jars (did the same thing for the other two).
And finally, I poured a whole bottle of vodka over the top. Who knew vanilla extract was basically vanilla booze?!
Next, I shook up the jars and put them in a cool place. You’re supposed to shake them for 30 seconds a couple times a day for the first week, then just once a day and then once a week for about 4 months — and then the vanilla extract is all ready to use! I’ll bottle mine in little bottles, buy some fun labels and be all ready for the holidays in no time.