How to: Make Vanilla Extract

I’m convinced you can order anything on Amazon.  My most recent exciting purchase was four incredibly-good-smelling vanilla beans.  They arrived in a somehow-illicit-feeling package like this which I shared on Instagram, prompting a friend to comment that this was #SallyPorn.  Indeed.   IMG_8409

I bought vanilla beans so I could try my hand at vanilla icecream and more pressingly, make my own vanilla extract.  Making vanilla extract at home takes only time, two ingredients  and almost no effort.

IMG_8459What to buy:

  • 375 ml. bourbon (or vodka but bourbon will give you the deeper brown color)
  • 3 vanilla beans

What to do:

  • use a knife to split the vanilla beans in half but leave about an 1/2 inch intact at the top of each bean
  • put the vanilla beans in bourbon bottle
  • give the jar a good shake and then store it in a dark place
  • give it a shake every week or so and let it sit for at least two months before using in any recipe that calls for vanilla extract!

IMG_8472 IMG_8466


  1. I make my vanilla extract almost like that as well 😉 I was making lots of vanilla ice cream for some time which involved taking the seeds out of the vanilla beans, cooking everything in cream – and leaving me with the empty but still deliciously smelling beans afterwards. I did not want to throw them away, so I soaked them with vodka and now use this as vanilla extract. Always good if you can recycle stuff!

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