how to make vanilla extract

Learn how to make vanilla extract, the most popular flavor in baked goods. All of your questions are answered in our complete guide.


vanilla beans

glass bottle

kitchen scale

time & patience


Measure out 8 ounces of vodka. The alcohol  must be between 80-100 proof for the best extraction.

You'll want 1 ounce of vanilla beans per 8 ounces of vodka. Do not by number of beans. Weigh them out in ounces for proper ratio.

Slice the vanilla pods down the center of the bean to expose the caviar in the middle, then cut each bean in half.

Place the split and cut beans in the alcohol. Seal the jar with a tight lid and give the jar a shake.

Label the jar with the origin of the beans, the type of alcohol used, the "fold" or strength and the date you started the extract. Store in a cool, dark place away from direct light.

The jars will take 4-6 months to extract. You can use any alcohol (rum, bourbon, etc) as long as the proof is between 80-100. Darker alcohols may take up to a 18 months to extract.

Shake the bars often while the vanilla is extracting to help the alcohol reach every part of the bean.

See our full article for more info on the vanilla making process, plus the best places to source beans.

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