How to make Home Made Vanilla


Being preoccupied and prioritizing has become such an everyday part of my life.  Having so much to do, I maximize my time by  getting the most out of each and every day. I have recently purchased a little over a pound of Madagascar bourbon grade B vanilla beans and for quite some time, I have been meaning to get around to making this gorgeous vanilla. Now without further adieu, I present to you the step by step process to making my version of home made vanilla.

What you will need is a glass jar. A dark glass jar with a tight fitting lid is recommended. You don’t necessarily need to run out and purchase a fancy jar/bottle. It could be a plain class jar/bottle.  If you prefer to use a clear jar, keep it away from the sunlight. Your vanilla should not be exposed to any sunlight. Your bottle should be sterile, so give it a nice hot water bath or something. You know….you don’t want other flavors that shouldn’t be present lingering in your vodka. Well I already have lots of glass jars and bottles, you know me, I’m moving over from BPA ridden plastics to glass containers, so I had more than one to choose from. I  chose not to  use a dark bottle, because I wanted you to be able to see what I was doing. I’m such a teacher and I enjoy illustrations!

I used a bottle of Grey Goose Vodka. You don’t have to. It really isn’t necessary to go out and purchase an expensive bottle of vodka. I initially went out and bought a cheap bottle of vodka based on that reason, but shortly after I arrived home, my eldest son wasn’t having it. He was like, “Mom never ever by vodka in a plastic bottle, that is the nastiest vodka you can ever buy!”   I responded, ” but every other source that I have researched claims that you don’t have to use an expensive bottle of vodka.”  He wasn’t having it and didn’t care, he acted as if we were going to use it in drinks or something.  Anyway since it was within his scope of  expertise in prestige restaurateur/ hospitality blah blah blah…. I took my child’s advice, did as was told, returned the cheap vodka and purchased a bottle of grey goose. I would never cook with a bottle of wine that I wouldn’t drink, so I will apply the same theory to the vodka… even if it’s vanilla that I am making. So Grey Goose it is!

The standard ratio  usually recommended, is three vanilla beans to one cup of vodka.  Slice the vodka beans in half, using a sharp knife. I prefer this method as opposed to using whole vanilla beans whole, as I believe it deeply enhances the flavor of the vodka . I presume the vodka assumes the flavors quickly, due to the rapid release of the caviar.. You can actually cut the vanilla beans into smaller pieces if you prefer.

Add the vanilla beans to the glass jar and pour in the vodka. The vanilla beans should be submerged into the vodka, otherwise the vanilla beans will dry out.  I used a 750 ml bottle of vodka and when I poured it into the glass jar, it didn’t cover the vanilla beans all the way. The vanilla beans are about 6″ long, had I purchased a larger bottle of vodka, I would have been fine or had I used the grey goose bottle and dropped the beans into it, I would have been okay too, but I didn’t because I wanted a bottle with a tight fitting lid and I wanted a clear bottle so that you can see what I’m doing. The Grey Goose bottle has all these prints obstructing the view. But have no fear. This is my first time making vanilla and I have a great solution.

The other day one of my facebook fan asked, “do you ever make a mistake?” Well here is one of my mistakes….see I do have imperfections after all. Everyone thinks that I am so perfect in the kitchen and around the home. It doesn’t mean that I don’t make mistakes. Being a perfectionist means that you prefer everything to be perfect and you do everything in your power to have perfect results.You would have thought that I would have already done my measurements and should have KNOWN that the vanilla beans would not have been covered with that amount of vodka…right?  Well guess what? I ain’t perfect either…so there…I said it.

Since the vanilla beans were too long and weren’t submerged into the vanilla and I definitely didn’t want them to dry out, I removed and sliced them in half and dropped them back into the vanilla. See ….I told you I had a solution. Now I know you’re asking, “so how many vanilla beans in total did you use?”  With 750ml of vodka, I should have used about 12 – 15 vanilla beans. I used twenty. Why? I’m curious to know if it’s gonna explode or something. just kidding….. Remember, it’s MY homemade vanilla and I can do what I want to…do what I want to (singing).

Give the bottle a shake every 3-4 days for the next 2 months. At two months your bottle of vanilla should be matured and ready to use in your cakes, pastries, ice cream, porridge, flan,smoothies and just about anywhere you enjoy your vanilla.

My recipe for homemade vanilla:
Glass jar with tight fitting lid
750 ml Grey Goose Vodka
20 Madagascar Vanilla beans

I will be uploading more photos as the vanilla matures…so stay tuned….



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