Vanilla Beans for homemade Extract

Post from 2008

Do you make your own vanilla extract??? (SEE NOTE AT BOTTOM FOR LATEST UPDATE ON RECIPE)

I had recently read a blog here about making Vanilla Extract from scattertheseeds…I was SO EXCITED to find a GREAT and unique Christmas gift idea! I’ve been thinking about ways to use my Starbucks frappucino bottles and I think this is going to be it! Thank you “scattertheseeds”!

I went to “Fresh Market”, a store in Chattanooga, Tennessee to purchase the vanilla beans. I had no idea they were SO EXPENSIVE!!! I paid about $3.99 per bean!!!! SO, after researching the homemade extract options online, I came across an ebay store that sells vanilla beans in bulk CLICK HERE to go to Vanilla Products USA.

I am looking forward to receiving my beans in the mail soon!!! ALSO, if you buy them at this particular ebay store, they have a sale right now that if you buy over $25 worth of merchandise, you get an extra 1 lb of vanilla beans free (that’s ALOT of beans!). I only purchased 40 beans for now (@4.99 for 20). I think that will be plenty. There was also a $1 discount on shipping when I checked out (instead of $5, it was $4) b/c I am in the USA. Total spent was just a little less than $14…close to the same price I paid at a retail store for only 4 beans!!!

As far as the recipe, I have researched several options. I think I am going to use vodka as my base b/c I read that it is neutral in taste, and I will just add about a Tablespoon of a dark rum to each bottle. I read that the rum can be overpowering if used for the entire bottle, but that adding just a little can enhance the flavor.


I’ve read several opinions on ratio of beans to liquid. I think I will go with 2 beans to every 1/2 cup of liquid and then I can add more liquid or beans in a few weeks depending on my preference for strength. I will slice the beans open lengthwise before putting them in the bottle.

Once the liquid is added, store in cabinet w/tight lid for approx. 6 weeks before using…shake the bottle frequently during the 6 weeks.


Some folks suggest scraping the inside of the bean into the bottle…some suggest cutting up the entire bean into tiny pieces or even 1/2 inch pieces and adding…no matter what method you choose, when you are ready to put it in a jar to give away, you can either syphen it through a filter of some sort (like a coffee filter or tea filter) if you want to remove the bean…or just leave the bean. Who doesn’t like vanilla bean ice cream w/the bits of bean all in it???

Several opinions suggested using the entire bean sliced open, then remove it after 6 weeks, let it dry out, then put it in a sugar bowl w/sugar…then you’ll have VANILLA SUGAR!!! YUM

I hope all is well with you today and that you are enjoying this beautiful day (at least it is beautiful here in N. Georgia today!). I love to hear the birds outside and watch the squirrels play now that they can’t get into my bird feeder! At least some of the birds give them crumbs.

UPDATE: This is how we ended up making ours after we received our WONDERFUL beans: we added 20 beans sliced open to the large bottle of vodka. We added 4 beans to the rum bottle. Keep in dark cabinet for 6 weeks in airtight container. Shake once a day. After 6 weeks, your vanilla extract is ready! Add 4 parts vodka to 1 part rum when mixing. The starbucks bottles worked great for me to hold my extract, especially when others asked for some to use for themselves.

God bless you!



4 thoughts on “Vanilla Beans for homemade Extract

  1. Thank you very much for this!!, I am going to have to check this out myself, and what a grand idea about using the frap bottles to house the batches.

  2. Thanks for the comment on my blog hun. So sorry to hear about the death of your friend Brian as well!!! *hugs*

    Thanks for the info on the vanilla beans. This may be a good idea for a Christmas present. Make your own vanilla, put it in a pretty bottle with a bow. Hmmmm!!! I amaze myself sometimes. LOL

    God's Blessings,
    Amy Jo

  3. I'm glad to see your making your own vanilla! I use 4 beans per fifth of Vodka which is a 750 ML bottle. I slice the bean lengthwise and scrape the vanilla bean 'guts' out, then cut the bean in half and throw the whole thing in the bottle. It would taste yummy to have more vanilla beans in the bottle, might be a little stronger too.

    You could make this in a Vodka bottle, then pour and strain into your bottles your giving away for presents.

    Remember-shake it everyday for a couple of weeks.


  4. What a great idea! I love making things like this for Christmas gifts. This year we're making 20 bars of homemade soap for each family, homemade laundry detergent and vinegar laundry rinse. I like giving things that I know that people can use and enjoy all year long. Last year we gave gallons of flavored vinegar. I'll have to try the vanilla soon!

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