Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Easy Holiday Gift Idea – Homemade Vanilla Extract November 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — austinurbangardens @ 10:07 am

Several months ago, as part of my pantry makeover, I ordered a variety of glassware from Specialty Glass.  I fell in love with the look of some stopper bottles and ordered several, without a specific plan for them.  

I’ve been on a homemade everything kick lately, and am becoming more adventurous all the time.   I appreciate a homemade gift more than a store bought one, so I thought it would be fun to make homemade Vanilla Extract in these beautiful bottles, and give them as Christmas gifts.

Vanilla beans can be pricey, but I purchased Mexican Vanilla Beans at Savory Spice Shop on Sixth Street, and found appx. $5.00 for 3 beans to be pretty reasonable.  There are some online sources that are cheaper, but I trust the quality at Savory Spice Shop.

So, the process is easy – insert the vanilla beans into the jars and fill with Vodka.  I used Tito’s, for a local componant.   The steeping started immediately, and the liquid was taking on color overnight.  After a few days, it looked like this:

After a Few Days

I simply set the jars in an out of the way spot, and waited.  After about two weeks, the liquid had darkened considerably.  With nearly a month left before Christmas, I’m hopeful that this mixture will have turned even darker and become pure vanilla extract, to be used just like that from the grocery store.  Wonder what’s in that stuff?


After Two Weeks


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