In Progress Projects: Vanilla Extract

Vanilla beanOkay, did you know you can make your own vanilla extract? Well, you can. And here’s the thing: while a 16oz bottle of the good stuff will run you around $60, you can make about a gallon of your own for about $40. Also, it’s a nifty gift. So here’s how I made mine…

vanilla extract

In progress: Vanilla Extract

  1. Buy another giant bottle of cheap vodka at Costco.
  2. Worry yet again that Costco is judging how much booze I purchase there.
  3. Order more vanilla beans on eBay.
  4. Wish eBay sellers could beam products to my kitchen.
  5. Wait.
  6. Chop vanilla beans and throw them into bottle of vodka.
  7. Put bottle in pantry.
  8. Shake daily for a month.
  9. Rebottle, make pretty, and give as gifts.

What I noticed in the making:

  • You don’t have to scrape your vanilla beans. It’s a waste of time. This information comes straight from the company I order my vanilla beans from, and I figure they know what they’re talking about. Plus, I’ve had great results with the horizontal chopping and it’s WAY easier than scraping the beans.
  • If you want to get even easier, heck, use kitchen shears to chop your beans. That would be even faster than what I did!
  • No one needs THIS much vanilla extract. Like, maybe ever. This is strictly a gift-giving exercise. If you want to make this just for yourself, then use 2-3 vanilla beans and a pint mason jar.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: A whole lot of vanilla extract. More than anyone would ever need. Give it away.


  • 1/4 pound vanilla beans (around 50 beans)
  • 1 quart vodka - the cheap stuff (79-90 proof)


  1. Chop vanilla beans into 1/2 inch pieces.
  2. Throw them into the bottle of vodka.
  3. Shake daily for a month.
  4. Rebottle and distribute as gifts.


Infusion time: 30 days



Susan Baroncini-Moe

Susan Baroncini-Moe is a Guinness World Records® titleholder, author of Business In Blue Jeans: How To Have A Successful Business On Your Own Terms, In Your Own Style , and a business & marketing coach and consultant. When she's not counseling her clients on how to market their businesses, she's making jams, jellies, crafty things, and booze or hanging out with her husband and their delightfully wicked guinea pig, Ginger.

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