Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Extract
4.5 from 2 ratings
This recipe only calls for two ingredients, so you might think it won't take long. In reality, though, it takes three weeks for the mixture to rest. This recipe is by Leah Eskin and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune
  • 15 bourbon or madagascar vanilla beans*
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) vodka
  1. Slit: Use a small sharp knife to slit the vanilla beans lengthwise. Slip the beans into the bottle of vodka. Close and store in a cool dark cupboard. (Consider sliding the bottle back into its paper bag.)
  2. Wait: Let rest 3 (or more) weeks. Shake a few times per week.
  3. Strain: Set a sieve lined with cheesecloth over a quart-size measuring cup. Strain extract. Pour strained extract into small glass (preferably dark) bottles. If you like, add a length of vanilla bean to each small bottle. Leave as is, or get fancy with the labeling.
  4. Give.
  5. Repeat. You can continue to add vodka to your original bottle for a time; eventually the beans will have given their all.