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How To Make Homemade Vanilla Extract: {Recipes & Tips}

This homemade brew is very easy to make and can be stored away in the pantry for your own use (and never run out again!) but also keep a batch on hand for gift-giving, they’ll be very appreciated! All that’s needed is alcohol (such as vodka or brandy), vanilla beans and glass jars or bottles.

DisplayQuick Tip: Try experimenting with different beans (ie. Madagascar & Tahitian) to sample all the flavor notes each type has to offer, even try mixing one or two different types in the same jar.

Ready to get started? You’ve hit the jackpot with this page! I have a collection of recipes and tutorials to help guide you along the way as well as a section of tips and frequently asked questions at the bottom.

First, here are three quick & easy methods:

  1. Place one bean into a pint of vodka. Shake daily for two weeks.
  2. Scrape the seeds from three beans and add them to a bottle of dark rum, add the pods as well. Let sit for three weeks, shaking occasionally.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup vodka or white tequila into small saucepan, and heat until it smokes but isn’t boiling. Break 2 beans into pieces and place into jar. Pour the alcohol over top and cover tightly. Let sit for a week, shaking frequently.

A more detailed tutorial:

Traditional Method:
(Yields 8-ounces)

Seeds1/2-pint Vodka
4 Vanilla beans
Seal tight jar or container
Decorative bottle

(Yields 8-ounces)

1 cup Brandy
1 whole vanilla bean

Another Way:




Starter brews are great gifts for friends who bake. Include the basic instructions and a few extra pods in case they want to make an even stronger batch.