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Homemade Vanilla Extract

  • Author: Yankee Homestead


  • 38 vanilla beans*
  • 8 oz vodka, bourbon, brandy, or rum
  • (glass jars)


  1. Slice each vanilla bean lengthwise. You want to pierce one side of the pod without cutting through to the opposite side of the bean. Essentially, you’re cutting open the pod (as opposed to slicing the pod in half.)
  2. Insert beans into jars.
  3. Add vodka.
  4. Place jars in a cool, dark spot to steep for 2 to 4 months.**


*Opinions vary widely on the number of vanilla beans required per 8 ounces of alcohol.

**Opinions also vary on the length of time for steeping. Generally speaking, the bigger the container, the longer the steeping time. For gift-giving purposes, you can always include a little note or tag with instructions to “open on January 30th”, for example.

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