- How easy it is
- The short time frame to make it
- How much of a great Christmas gift this would be for friends/family
Well, I’m sure a lot of my friends whom I usually get gifts for are likely reading this and thinking.. hmm.. I wonder if Liz and Lenny will give us homemade vanilla this year for Christmas.. well.. to answer that… “If you’re lucky!”
The recipe was found at DIYNatural.com and although I come across a lot of recipes in my travels.. this one I think I’m actually going to try. Not that I use a whole lot of vanilla extract – but make a bottle.. and it’d be a great gift for sure!
What you’ll need
- 1 – 750ml bottle of Vodka, rum, or any liquor 80+ proof (80 proof = 40% alcohol)
- 12 – vanilla beans
- Cutting board
- A sharp knife
- A funnel for pouring vodka between bottles (optional but recommended)
- Bottles for storing the vanilla (I suggest glass bottles)
How to make it
Using the funnel, remove approximately 1/2 cup of vodka from each bottle to make room for the vanilla beans. Using your cutting board and knife, slice each vanilla bean lengthwise along one entire side of the bean. Place the beans in the vodka bottle, replace the lid, and shake. Store the vanilla for 2-3 months in a cool, dark room.
Shake the vanilla once/week to agitate the beans and speed the extraction process.
How much you will save
Savings depend on quantity. the author made 76 ounces using 3 – 750ml bottles of vodka and 1/4lb of vanilla beans, which provided the following savings:
Store bought cost
One 2 ounce bottle of store brand pure vanilla extract cost $4.99. Total cost = $2.50/ounce. (this is USD)
3 bottles of vodka (“a fifth” or 750ml) cost $10 each for a total of $30 (Again.. USD prices.. can’t get near that here). 750ml x 3 = 2250ml which is equivalent to 76 ounces. 1/4lb of vanilla beans (approximately 36 beans) is equivalent to 4 ounces and cost $10. Based on these calculations, 76 ounces of pure vanilla extract cost $40. Total cost = $0.50/ounce. Imitation vanilla cost approximately $1.00/ounce. This reveals that homemade vanilla extract is 5 times cheaper than store bought pure vanilla and twice as cheap as imitation vanilla.
So yeah – obviously the savings are going to be debatable due to the fact that this was done in the US I believe – but what a great recipe and so easy! I did take a look and you can get vanilla beans at bulk barn and likely the major grocery stores but don’t quote me. Doesn’t vanilla extract have more uses than just for baking? Put some in your skin moisturizer to have some vanilla scented eczema cream, or perhaps use some in a candle for a great vanilla smell… mmmm..