Tuesday, February 15, 2011

go forth ye and make this! * homemade vanilla*

Something I've been wanting to do for a while is make my own vanilla as part of the whole opting out of the conventional food system. Then after reading the ingredients and finding corn syrup as an ingredient that was even more motivation to give it a go! So here's how I did it...

First I gathered my ingredients, a bottle of unflavored vodka, providing it is about 40% alcohol; brandy can also be used, and 6-8 vanilla beans. If you use a variety of vanilla beans from places such a Tahiti, Madagascar, Mexico, etc the end product will result in a really floral flavor with lots of subtle notes, but I only had one variety to start with. I plan on adding more beans later and will get a different variety, but for now I am happy with what I have.

All you do is run a sharp knife down the length of the bean to open it and expose all the luscious flavorful vanilla bean seeds. That is what is on the end of my knife there.
Then plop them into your bottle of vodka.

Give the bottle a good shimmy shake! Can you see those orbs of vanilla goodness floating around and doing their part to infuse the vodka with their goodness?

Then place this bottle of future yumminess in a dark place and let it get happy remembering to shake daily for about two weeks or so then whenever you think of it. Should be ready in about 8 weeks. That's it, that's all there is to it really, not go forth ye and make this!
* And to inspire you further to give this a try... Tonight when I took the bottle out to give it a shake, I being the ever patient woman I am, had to open the bottle and smell it. Truthfully I was not expecting much as this bottle has just been started about 3 days ago, well I'll just say that I was delightfully surprised! I was met with the most pleasant warm vanilla aroma! I wanted to jump into the bottle and bathe in this stuff it smelled to good! I had the kids and then Ron smell and we all agreed it was nice! Andrew wasn't crazy about the smell at first until I pulled the 'other' bottle out, you know, the conventional, ready made, off the shelf stuff, and had him smell that. Now I'll admit I'd never had anything to compare it to so I always thought it smelled nice, nothing I'd want to bathe in, but nice enough, but compared to this homemade vanilla the other stuff just smelled chemically. I don't know if that is an actual word, but I think you know what I mean. It was awful! So there you have it, so easy to do, nothing artificial, no corn syrup, just goodness waiting to be unleashed!
On another note, I've been asked to post some of my recipes here so from now on when I post a recipe it will be under this title so it'll be easier to find.


  1. I'm so glad to know how to do this! Now I just need to find some good vanilla beans.

  2. I'll have to look for some vanilla beans the next time I go out of town and try this. I have been lucky and every time my mom "snowbirds" to Arizona, she picks me up a couple bottles of the real vanilla when they go to Mexico, but this might be the next best thing.

  3. Seek out a local health food store that sells in bulk, the gocery stores are SOOOO over priced. Hope you are able to make this and that you are enjoying your new dairy does!

  4. I had a bit of that 'real vanilla' from Mexico too, until my son though the recipe called for a half cup of vanilla instead of a 1/2 tsp... oh the learning curve is steep for cooking... but I can honestly say this smelled better than that even! I have not tasted this bottle yet, but if it's as good as it smells... oooohie!

    you can also add more vanilla beans later after you've had the bottle a while and top off the bottle with more vodka as it is being used. Pour out some vanilla into a jar, like a small (clean/sterile) jelly jar to let the new beans and/or vodka get happy together.


So what's the view from your world about that? I'd enjoy hearing it.