Homemade Vanilla Extract

So it’s still early (we haven’t even had breakfast yet) and I’ve pulled out the vodka already… don’t worry I’m not drinking it but I have another use for it.

Some of you know that I use vodka in our spider spray that we keep on hand to repel those creepy crawlers but it is also very helpful for many other things as well.

I don’t know if anyone else remembers seeing bottles of vanilla with the bean when you were growing up but I do and I can’t seem to find it anywhere so I’ll be finishing up my bottle to make some vanilla extract. I’ve had intentions to do this for a while but haven’t gotten around to it until I ran out of the vanilla I had. The price for real vanilla extract is crazy!

While this homemade stuff won’t be ready for at least a couple of months I’ll be able to refill it, again and again, to keep my supply going. I did order some Mexican vanilla extract to tide me over.

After some careful research, I’ve found that you can but Tahitian, Madagascar, and Mexican Vanilla Beans. A lot of people don’t seem to care for the Mexican as they have a more distinct flavor and many of the recipes I’ve found call for the Madagascar beans. I, however, bought these Tahitian beans to give them a try.

You can also buy different grades of beans with Grade A being the better quality but Grade B is a bit more budget-friendly. I went with Grade A this time around but some people do prefer the flavor from the Grade B so I may try that the next time around. This is something you will have to play around with to suit your taste.

Below is the recipe I used. I made two bottles with the intention of gifting one. I may go ahead and order some of the Madagascar beans to try as well so I can taste test them. Now I’ll always have a steady supply of vanilla for all of our yummy creations.


Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract


  • Vanilla beans*
  • Vodka (at least 35% alcohol)* (You can also use bourbon or rum)
  • Jar (s) with lids**


Split your vanilla beans into halves with scissors or a knife.

Place them in your jars.

Cover with vodka and seal.

Shake well and place it in a safe place.

Shake at least 1 time a week and it should be ready to use within 2-3 months.

When empty refill with vodka and repeat.


*Your vodka ratio to beans will depend on the type of beans, the type of alcohol, how strong of a flavor you like, and how long you plan to let it sit. I recommend using 3-6 whole vanilla beans per 8 oz of vodka.

**You can use any type of glass jar but I really love these cute bottles as they will make pretty gifts later if I choose to do so.

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Click HERE for a full disclaimer.

 –Thank you!


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