Servings: 750 ml
750 ml bottle of vodka
12 whole vanilla beans
dark rum (optional)
Using kitchen scissors, cut vanilla beans in half lengthwise, leaving about an inch connected (not cut) at one end.
Now simply push the beans into the bottle. The beans are going to displace some of the vodka. This is not a problem! Get some orange juice and drink it! (I’m just kidding! Maybe.)
Screw lid on tightly and store in a cool, dry location. Shake the bottle once or twice a day at first, then just whenever you think about it. It will take a month or two to steep good, but you can use it sooner if you’re in a rush. Stored properly, it will be good for years, and in fact, get better all the time as it grows stronger.
Use a small funnel to transfer the extract to smaller bottles.
I like the extra kick of dark rum in my vanilla extract, so when I poured the first small bottle out, I added rum to the big bottle, using a funnel. The first few times you take out from the big bottle, it doesn’t hurt to add some extra rum or vodka to stretch your vanilla beans–if you let it steep again, it will be just as strong.
Tie raffia or ribbons around small bottles to give as Christmas gifts. Add a handmade or home-printed label. Or, if an avid baker is on your list, they’d love an entire big bottle, and be sure to make one for yourself!
Or, to make 1 little bottle at a time, see the 2 oz method here.
Submitted by: suzanne-mcminn on September 19, 2010