Vanilla Extract

Now that the Christmas season has come and gone and we have given our gifts to our friends and family, I can post what we did and how we did it. This is a fabulous gift anytime of the year.  It is a gift that keeps on giving!

The idea came compliments of Sprinkles of Parsley 

Vanilla Extract

Making your own vanilla extract – did you know that all extract, if you have any in your cupboards look at the ingredients, is alcohol and the spice or flavoring such as almond or peppermint or vanilla?  So here’s what we did.

  1. We purchased little bottles from The Specialty Bottle Company
  2. We purchased Bourbon Vanilla Beans from Beanilla 
  3. We purchase a middle-of-the-line, unflavored vodka.
  4. We spread the bottles and vanilla beans out one evening in December on our table and had some fun making vanilla extract for our friends and family.
  5. We cut the vanilla beans in half length wise and then in half width wise as this exposes the seeds. We started by putting 2 strands in each bottle but had enough to put 4-6 in each bottle.
  6. Then we used a funnel and poured unflavored vodka over the vanilla beans until the bottle was almost full and placed the cap on.
  7. Once all bottles were completed we made labels. We used round labels and chose a font we liked and printed them on our computer. I then took distressed ink and colored them in a festive color and added a ribbon around the top of the bottle.
  8. Remember these must “sit” for 6 weeks prior to use so be sure to start early or include a date on the label that reads, “Use after”…

Ingredients needed:

  • 20-40 bottles, depending on how many you want to make
  • ¼ – ½ lbs of vanilla beans (they do have organic available on different sites)
  • Unflavored vodka – we went for a middle of the line, Sky Vodka
  • Ribbons in festive colors
  • Labels for front and back of the bottles

Label Lingo:


Vanilla Extract, Use after _________________


The vanilla beans must steep for 6 weeks. When your extract runs out fill your bottle with unflavored vodka and allow to steep again for 6 weeks. You will always have homemade vanilla extract.  Ingredients: Bourbon vanilla beans, vodka


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