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Homemade Vanilla Extract

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Homemade vanilla extract - ohlardy.com

Every year, my husband and I give a Holiday goodie bag to our friends and family.  The bag always includes homemade salsa, but each year I like to add something different.  Last year I decided to prepare a Homemade Vanilla Extract.  Locating a homemade vanilla recipe online was simple.  There are many tutorials to choose from.  All it took was a little planning ahead and less than an hour of my time.

I learned that homemade vanilla takes about three to four months to mature.  Since I wanted my gift to be ready to use, I prepared my homemade vanilla extract in early fall last year.  I ordered 4oz bottles and vanilla beans online and sent my husband to the store for some vodka.  Once I had gathered my supplies, I got to work.  Friends, this is so simple.  Just don't tell your anyone.

First I clipped the vanilla beans in half and stuffed them in the jars.

Once all of the vanilla beans had been divided up, I filled the bottles with the vodka.  In my research, I found that it doesn't really matter which brand of vodka is used.  So, I just went with a familiar brand.

This is the best part.  Once they were filled, I set them in my closet and forgot about them.

Three months later, I had homemade vanilla extract ready to use in recipes!  I found a cute pre-made label online and put it on the bottles.


The longer the vanilla sits, the richer it becomes.  It was so easy to prepare, I don't see the need to buy expensive vanilla at the store anymore.  You could even prepare it in bulk, it doesn't go bad.

This is a really fun idea for homemade holiday gifts.  If you plan to hand it out this Holiday season, be sure to attach a label that includes the date it will be ready to enjoy!

Do you know how to make homemade vanilla extract?  If so, please share your tips and ideas with us!  We would love to learn more.

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Homemade vanilla extract - ohlardy.com

This post was a part of Fat Tuesday


  1. I cannot wait until mine is ready to use. I prepared a bunch this summer for holiday gifts & use. It is melding in rum & vodka……I await. Isn’t it the coolest idea!

  2. Great tutorial! I made vanilla extract for Christmas gifts last year. We always have to fly for Christmas, though, so we only put together the bottles a few days before giving them as gifts. It was funny to tell people that their extract wouldn’t be ready until June, but apparently the gifts were still a hit!

    1. Amy, in the post I linked to the 4oz bottles and vanilla beans. Check the second paragraph! Enjoy! This is such a fun project and oh so delicious!

  3. I made my first batch about 5 months ago. I made mine with bourbon instead of vodka. I used it for baking while making Christmas goodies. It’s delicious!

      1. After I strain my vanilla I use my vanilla beans to make homemade puddings and such. I even heard to put them in sugar to make vanilla flavored sugar. I haven’t tried this because mine get used up too fast. 🙂 Double the pleasure. (I try to be as thrifty as possible)

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