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dark brown glass bottom with custom label of Homemade vanilla extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Making your own homemade vanilla extract is not only easy to do, but the vanilla you extract smells and tastes wonderful and the beans can still be used once you're done! Bottled up, this homemade vanilla extract makes a perfect holiday gift for friends, family, neighbors and coworkers.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
soak time 180 days
Total Time 180 days 30 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 183kcal


  • 80 vanilla beans pods split lengthwise
  • 1500 milliliters vodka


  • Split each pod lengthwise with a sharp paring knife, keeping the tip in tact and the seeds in the pod.
  • Add split pods to clean empty gallon sized glass mason jar.
  • Add vodka.
  • Tightly screw on lid. Carefully shake contents of jar. Store in cool dark place.
  • Shake contents of jar weekly.
  • Allow 6-12 months for flavors to properly develop.
  • Use fine mesh filter to separate the liquid from the solids. Use funnel to pour into 24 separate 4 ounce amber Boston Globe glass bottles.



  • Cost: Since I originally created my first batch of vanilla, the price of vanilla bean pods has skyrocketed. Although vanilla is expensive everywhere you go, I still think this is the most cost effective way to get vanilla extract because you can continue to add more vodka as the level decreases without having to purchase additional vanilla beans.
  • Vanilla beans: I have purchased them in bulk by the pound from Beanilla and Olive Nation. One pound will give you more than enough. Mexican vanilla beans are the best in my opinion, but Madagascar and Tahitian are fantastic as well.
  • Vodka: I went with something in the low to low-mid cost range and my vanilla was wonderful.  I don't think it is necessary to buy top shelf.
  • Gifts: I bought a couple dozen 4-oz amber Boston round glass bottles and filled them with my homemade vanilla extract. Then I had a friend who is an amazing graphic designer design some great labels in exchange for a bottle of vanilla. They made the best Christmas gifts!


Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Fat: 2g