Double Vanilla Extract

We use a lot of vanilla extract: yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, hot fudge, etc.  We usually purchase a large bottle (at least 4 ounces and more if we can find one) but find the cost high so we’ve decided to try our hand at making our own.  I had been reading this article  which suggested using Appleton Estate rum. I had always assumed that vodka was the liquor of choice when making vanilla extract but after doing a little research I am willing to give rum a trial run.

Appleton Jamaican Rum is the base for the extract

 So I bought a bottle (750 ml) of Appleton Estate rum which should make approximately 3 eight-ounce bottles of vanilla.

6 to 7 inch Madagascar Bourbon Planifolia Extract Grade B Vanilla Beans

 I ordered a half pound (more than 50 beans) of grade B vanilla beans for $19.49 from which came with a free pack of 10 Tahitian Grade B beans. The beans arrived in a few days. My research led me to the fact that grade B beans are perfect for making extract because they’re dryer than grade A beans.

Small bottles hold less than 4 oz of liquid

 We used the rum bottle and one small bottle in which to steep the beans. First, we sterilized our jars and lids by pouring boiling water over them and then letting them soak in the scalding bath for about 10 minutes. I located some  8 less than 4 ounce bottles at Michael’s in which to put the extract to present as gifts. I’m on the lookout for the perfect bottle to use at home.

Cut the beans lengthwise in half with a pair of scissors

 Next, with a sharp pair of kitchen scissors or paring knife, cut the vanilla beans in half, leaving an inch at the end connected. Put the beans in the bottle and cover with liquor of choice.  Most recipes say 3 beans to a cup (8 ounces) of spirits so to make double vanilla extract we added 6 beans (18 for the entire 750 ml bottle).

Vanilla beans and liquor make vanilla extract - it's that easy!

 Now we’ll just let it sit for at least a month, 2 are better. Every so often we could give it a shake to mix the infusion. 

Cost breakdown:

    • 6 Bottles                               $6.30          
    • Labels                                      0.00
    • Rum                                      $18.50
    • VanillaBeans                      $6.50

Total                                                            $31.30

Cost per ounce:                                       $1.30

    We have lots of beans left to make other vanilla items: sugar, tea, coffee and more extract if this is a hit.
    Have you made anything for the first time? Did it turn out great? Or need a few tweaks?
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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

4 thoughts on “Double Vanilla Extract”

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