How to make Pure Vanilla Extract at home


Home made pure Vanilla Extract in the foreground.

Have you always bought vanilla essence from the food stores or the supermarket? Well, please don't do that anymore since fist, making vanilla extract at home takes lesser time than a trip to the supermarket and second, your home made vanilla extract is pure and not the artificial essence that you buy.

To make vanilla extract at home, you need just 2 ingredients, vodka and vanilla pods. You can use rum(dark one) as well instead of vodka if you want to but I have yet to try with rum. Buy the best quality vodka or rum that you can afford. I use either Eristoff Vodka or Wodka Gorbatschow, whichever I can lay  my hands on. Vanilla pods are a bit on the expensive side, but they are well worth their money I must say. So guys, please stop using the artificial vanilla essence and make a pure version at home. It is super easy.

I have used 700 ml / 24fl ounces vodka since I use vanilla extract quite frequently but you can use lesser volume if you want to, like 500 ml / 17fl ounces vodka with 4 vanilla pods.

700 ml / 24fl ounces Vodka
5 Vanilla pods

Slit all the vanilla pods lengthwise and open the cut.

Slice the pods into 3 pieces.

Drop the pieces in a sterilized bottle. Top up with the vodka.

Shake the bottle for about 30 seconds. Cover and keep in a cool and dry place. It would take about 6 months for the vanilla extract to develop the flavor completely. Shake the bottle for about 30 seconds at regular intervals, every day if you can. You know it is ready when you can only smell the vanilla and not the vodka. The color would be quite dark as you can see in the first photograph.

Once the vanilla extract is ready, strain it into a jug and pour it into another sterilized bottle. Top the vanilla pod pieces again with 500 ml / 17fl ounces fresh vodka this time. Repeat the process and remember to shake the bottle as frequently as possible. It might take a little longer this time for the vanilla extract to be ready. I top the vanilla pods with fresh vodka maximum three times reducing the vodka volume each time by 250 ml / 8.5fl ounces since after that the pods lose their flavor. So go ahead and make your own pure vanilla extract at home.

Happy Baking!!!

Home made pure Vanilla Extract in the foreground.

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