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Homemade Vanilla

 

 

The vanilla bean is the seed of an orchid and goes through several different

 

 

processes before we receive it, beginning with hand-pollination.  I started 

 

 

making my vanilla potion a few years ago and have continued to this day. 

 

 

Most of the time I use vodka as my base to make my vanilla but brandy

 

 

also makes a beautiful vanilla product.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The secret to making a great vanilla extract is the seeds, and exposing them

 

 

to the alcohol base.  You do this by chopping the vanilla beans into ½-inch

 

 

pieces and mixing them with the alcohol base, sealing the container and

 

 

letting it set in a dark place.

Homemade Vanilla

 

                                             

Ingredients

•  Vanilla beans (6 per cup of liquor)  click here for beans

 

•  Liquor (at least 80 proof of vodka), brandy or bourbon

 

 

•  Jar with a tight sealing lid, size depends on the amount you're making. 

 

 

    I like using these.

Instructions

1.  Slit each vanilla bean lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch pieces.  This exposes

 

 

    more bean (and seeds) to the liquor.

2.  Add liquor and beans to the container.  Seal, then shake a few times.  I try to

 

 

     shake every day but I usually end up shaking the container when I see or

 

 

     remember it.  Store it in a cabinet where it's dark.

3.  You can start using it in about 3 months.  It truly gets better as it ages.  After

 

 

     a couple of uses, top it off with more liquor.  Not too much, a little at a time

 

 

     and don't remove the beans.

Options

•  For gift-giving,  strain the vanilla (save the beans) into a nice bottle (here)

 

   

   and add 1 whole vanilla bean.  The bean can be cut in half if need be. 

 

 

   Always keep the beans submerged, whether making or gifting the vanilla.

•  Vanilla will last almost indefinitely, especially if it has been strained.  

•  Brandy with vanilla beans makes a wonderful liqueur.


  

Tips

•  Never use plastic to store vanilla, ever!

•  Don't worry about the teeny tiny vanilla seeds if they are left in the vanilla;

 

 

    that is where most of the flavor comes from.

KEYWORDS

homemade vanilla, best homemade vanilla

Tiny vanilla bean seeds on a knife tip.
Close-up of vanilla seeds.
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