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Homemade Vanilla

  • Author: Our Best Bites


A practical, original, and yummy gift – perfect for the holidays!


  • 2 1.75-liter bottles vodka or white rum
  • 60 vanilla beans
  • 4-ounce glass amber bottles (between 30-40) washed (you probably won’t use all of them at once)
  • Martha Stewart Kraft Labels, Flourish style


  1. Cut the ends off the vanilla beans and divide them evenly among 4-5 1-quart glass mason jars.
  2. Cover with vodka or rum and close tightly. Shake vigorously.
  3. Place in a cool, dark place and shake the bottles about once a week for at least 1-2 months (but you could do this forever if you wanted).
  4. When ready to gift, carefully fill each glass bottle with vanilla extract and secure the lids tightly. If you’d like, you can include a vanilla bean (you’d likely have to trim it) in each bottle.


  • If you have beans left over, be sure to squeeze out the bean paste from the beans and save it in an airtight container. Use it in ice creams, sweet sauces, whipped cream, jams, jellies, etc. You can also allow the pods to dry out (after you squeeze out their insides) and then grind them up into a powder using a coffee or spice grinder and sprinkle it into anything that you’d like to add vanilla flavor to (or mix it with sugar to make your own vanilla sugar).