Wednesday, January 5, 2011
I wanted to do something special for my family and friends at Christmas time, so back in early November I started brewing my own homemade vanilla extract. I ordered Madagascar Vanilla Beans, bought some Bell Jars, and headed to the liquor store. I have to say the experience of purchasing two half gallons of vodka was an experience in itself, especially because it was about 11 am. I think the clerk was either very impressed with me or very scared for me, or maybe it was all in my head. Oh well, you and I know the true reason why I was lugging around enough vodka for a small army.
Everyone I gave the vanilla to seemed really surprised and happy. I guess most people don't realize that vanilla extract is mostly alcohol. I haven't used the vanilla myself yet, but I am really excited to see if I can notice a difference in the flavor. I love that I will never run out of vanilla again - - all you have to do is top it off with more vodka when you start to get low!
I have lots of left over vanilla beans so please share ideas for using them! Vanilla sugar is already on my list.
Homemade Vanilla Extract
1/2 gallon vodka
20 vanilla beans
Slice vanilla beans lengthwise and place into vodka bottles.
Shake every week and store in a dark, cool place.
Vanilla is ready when it has darkened.