homemade vanilla extract day one

I hope I’m not wrong when I think that we all have this embarassing story.

Two people. You and me.
A few drinks at the pub.
A late night pizza eaten with our fingers, and a side made of beer – preferably still in its ice-cold bottle.

And then, the drama happens, no more booze in the fridge. After a long duel of rock-paper-scissors and many tickling fights, one of us (who is not me, the paper-hand move always saves me) runs to the closest store to grab a bottle of vodka.

Quite inevitably, this bottle never gets drank as we settle down watching a movie, or at least pretending to.

Not that all of this has ever happened to me. Right.

But in case you feel like you can relate to this whole story, I have the perfect solution to put this too-cheap-to-drink bottle to good use.

Vanilla extract!

homemade vanilla extract

I started mine yesterday, and although the very boozy would still make any hungover person – certainly not me – sick; I am hoping for the best. And obviously, I will report every week, so you can keep an eye on my little experiment.

Homemade vanilla extract
Adapted from Melissa.

This recipe starts with emptying a bottle of vodka. And it does feel as good as it sounds. Except, this time, it’s poured it into a glass jar. Then both fresh and used vanilla beans are thrown in there. To slowly extract their flavour.

As the jar is kept in a cool dark place, the aromas of the vanilla beans will migrate from the pods themselves to the boozy liquid.

As I type this, it’s still day one of the experiment, but I’m pretty eager to see the liquid turn from light amber to dark brown.
And mostly, I’m very looking forward to devouring a slice of fragrant and soft vanilla cake.

Homemade vanilla extract

one bottle of vodka
2 bourbon vanilla beans
1 tahitian vanilla bean
a couple of used and dried beans

In a clean and dry jar, empty the bottle of vodka. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans, and throw both used and just-scraped out pods in there.
Close and give it a good shake.
Keep in a cool dark place, shaking every week; and adding more used vanilla beans as you go.
It should be ready in eight weeks.