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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Making Vanilla Extract

At the end of the last post discussing preparations for hand made gifts I mentioned making vanilla extract.
I was in fact away interstate at the time but I got back last night so here is a bit of a run down on how I have got my extract under way.

A woman in one of my face book groups bought in some bulk vanilla pods as it is much cheaper and was selling off her excess. They worked out to be 0.50 each so I bought a very large bundle. I figured that I would make some extract and maybe some vanilla sugar for gifts and even giving a plain old bean is a lovely present on it's own or in a hamper. 

As far as proportions go I used 
40 beans which was about 150g 
to 750 ml of vodka (3 cups)

I snipped the beans in 2-3cm lengths (1")
and placed them in a glass screw top jar with the vodka
Now give a bit of a stirring shake daily and let it macerate away for a couple of months.
Closer to Christmas I will strain through a coffee filter paper in a strainer, the same way I do my infused oils for salves.

Now I'm on the hunt for bottles....
This could be my source if I fail to find any suitable through second hand means.

So far I estimate that I will get at least 20 bottles of 30ml sized extract that has a breakdown cost of $2.50 per bottle not including any cost I might incur buying the bottles.
This makes a very reasonable and charming gift for friends, teachers and neighbours.
Feels good to have the Christmas gifts under way.


  1. still watching and following from I have said before, lovely sense of time and place,

  2. What a great idea:)) I haven't really started Christmas gifts yet.. Think I need to hurry up .

  3. That sounds very interesting, I wonder what the finished product will be like. I try to buy the best quality extract I can find and it usually costs around $10 for a tiny jar, so that's a huge saving your way and a special gift.

  4. I guess im doing it wrong. I have two bottles on the go and i just put two full pods in and topped with vodka. They have been sitting on the shelf for a few months and have a little colour. Seems i should have put more in and been shaking it up a little. I also, apparently should have kept them in the dark pantry but there they sit (because i like the look of them) on an open shelf above the dining table. Oh Well.

    1. I'm sure there is still an imparting of the vanilla into the alcohol. I am hoping for a lovely dark strongly flavoured extract. Let us know how yours goes as there is really no right or wrong way


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