Homemade Vanilla Extract

Well, my vanilla beans arrived from France – and do they ever smell lovely! I ordered them off ebay and shipping did not take long at all.

I know making your own vanilla extract is well heard of in many kitchens – in fact, it is so easy, there’s not much to post about it. It’s barely even a recipe, really …

Simply attain your fresh vanilla beans. Enjoy the beautiful smell of those rich, moist vanilla pods! Slice them down the center of the bean pod and drop 3-5 into a glass jar.

Cover with alcohol  – vodka, rum or brandy – and allow it to steep for up to three months. You can leave the vanilla beans inside your extract when it is finished seeping or you can remove them. I usually just leave them in for extra flavor.



My mom gifted me with some brandy and vodka (no, she does not drink alcohol but had them for household projects). What a blessing!

I covered one jar with brandy and the other with the vodka.

For many of us, real vanilla extract from the stores is quite expensive. Using the fake version is not an option because of what may be used to make the imitation vanilla. {Also, here is a good article on the comparisons.} Making your homemade vanilla flavoring is a great option for a healthier and cost-effective vanilla extract.

March 17, 2017 - 7:42 am

Gigi Use the ones listed – I have heard that brandy is great for vanilla, but I think a common one is vodka. I am working on the link (I have forgotten my ebay sign in!).

March 16, 2017 - 4:55 pm

Maike Does it make a difference which sort of alcohol I use? I don’t drink alcohol, it all smells the same to me, but perhaps there are differences especially in the final vanilla extract taste? I’m also interested in the link to the beans. 🙂

March 16, 2017 - 4:09 pm

Gigi Looking at the bottle, I think it was a hot sauce bottle…

March 16, 2017 - 4:07 pm

Gigi I think that bottle is an old condiment bottle- I try to keep all my glass jars/bottles and take off the labels. It helps in these types of projects!

March 16, 2017 - 9:50 am

Brenda (Gigi’s Mom) PS I love that bottle for the beans. Hoping to find one like that. It’s perfect

March 16, 2017 - 9:49 am

Brenda (Gigi’s Mom) I am making my own vanilla too! Thanks to Gillian’s inspiration. I got my beans from ebay, shipped from France but grown in Madagascar. I hear the best beans are from Madagascar 🙂
Thanks for the inspiration, Gillian

March 16, 2017 - 6:37 am

Gigi I will look for the link! I think I will order more. They are so fresh and lovely.

March 15, 2017 - 6:46 pm

Lauren Hey Gillian! I sooo want to do this. Vanilla extract is so expensive these days! I heard that there was a worldwide shortage of vanilla beans, hence the rise in cost. Where do you get your vanilla beans?