Category Archives: Seasonings & Spices

Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

vanilla-beanFor the foodies out there this will probably be old hat but I thought I’d post it anyway. Vanilla extract is something Chris made a few years back and it’s got to be one of the easiest things to make (and one of the best ‘bang for your buck’ recipes) we know.

Seriously, it really is overkill to do the whole “Ingredients / Directions” thing but I will just for continuity.

In our experience, the hardest part of the entire recipe is waiting for it be ready to use!

TOP TIP – homemade vanilla extract is a great thing to give as a holiday gift. You do all the work in May, then when December rolls around everything will be done – saving time, money and a huge amount of stress. Bonus! We bought the vodka in bulk and picked up some posh 500ml bottles to give away as gifts. It’s more cost-effective to buy the vodka in large amounts and 500ml makes a nice gift size.

500ml vodka – just get the cheap stuff it won’t make any difference to the final result.
3-4 raw vanilla pods

With a sharp knife, split the vanilla pods lengthways. Do not remove the seeds.

Open the bottle of vodka and add the vanilla pods. Reseal. Let the vanilla pods steep for at least 4 months, but we’d recommend 6 months. Technically there’s no need to shake the bottle during that time but it won’t hurt anything if you do.

After 4-5 months your homemade vanilla extract will be ready to use. No more store bought extract! Use exactly as you would any other vanilla extract – no adjustment is necessary.

Oh, and by the way – if you leave the pods in the bottle, you can just keep topping it up with more vodka after you use some and it will ‘refresh’ itself for quite a while.


Have you ever made your own vanilla extract? Did you notice a difference? Let us know in the comments!