Homemade Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Extract after 2 weeks

This past week, my grocery list looked a little like this.

Yes, that does say a half gallon of vodka.  

What did I need a half gallon of vodka for?  I threw a huge shin-dig!!  


Remember a couple weeks back when I mentioned the deal on vanilla beans?  Well, they arrived just a couple of days later – and I was honestly really excited!  Making my own vanilla extract is something that I have been wanting to do for a while now.  Not only is it more flavorful than what you buy in the store, it is also more economical.  


  • 1/2 gallon of vodka (1.75 Liters)
  • 40 Vanilla Beans
  • a half gallon container (I used an empty orange juice bottle that I cleaned)


I made a little label out of plain, white paper & taped it onto mine to try & make it a little prettier. 

Using the tip of a knife, split the vanilla beans in half, exposing the middles – but leaving the ends attached so that they aren’t completely separated.

Place the vanilla beans into your empty container, & cover with the vodka.

Seal the container.  I used a layer of plastic wrap under the screw on cap just to be sure it was sealed well.
Store in a cool, dark place for 6 months, shaking about every week.  

After the 6 months, you can strain the mixture, & use the vanilla beans to make another batch too!

Final Cost Breakdown
Vanilla Beans – $22 for 54
(with 14 left over for another use)
Half Gallon of Vodka – $12
Total:  $34 for one half gallon of vanilla extract
(actually cheaper than that since not all the vanilla beans were used for this!)


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  • I need to try this. Very good idea!

  • I am dangerously close to being out of homemade vanilla. My vanilla beans arrived today, so guess what I’m doing after dinner? Homemade vanilla is sooooo much better than the imitation from the store!

  • I had no idea you used vodka to make homemade vanilla, lol. This looks like a fun project to try. I’m always amazed at how many everyday things you can make yourself!

  • Who knew you could make your own vanilla? Certainly not me, I can hardly wait to get my hands on some vanilla beans and try this myself! Thank you for linking up so I could find this!

  • So funny. My friend and I were just talking about doing this the other day! Thanks for the tutorial! Now I don’t have to search for one. Thanks for linking up on Recipes I Can’t Wait to Try!

  • Connie

    Thanks for the heads up on buying vanilla beans. Mine came last week and I placed some in some vodka also. These beans were the best, so soft and the smell was delicious. I knew they came when I walked in from work. My husband had taken them out of the box. Thanks for a great blog and yummy recipes.

  • You’ve been featured! 😉 http://bit.ly/fE7qlZ

  • WOW! I too never would have guessed to use Vodka to make vanialla extract! I thought maybe you were making your own Vanilla Vodka! 😉 That’s awesome!!

  • Jodisunshinegirl

    I love this! Thank you. Love your pinterest. Am going to make the coffee creamer today with Mexican vanilla extract. 🙂

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  • tottmers

    How long does the vanilla stay good in storage?

  • Caroldee

    This is amazing.. I want to try it….I had no idea it was sooo easy really!!

  • I filled an old extract bottle full of Voldka with 4 sliced Vanilla beans in it and whenever it gets down to 1/2 empty I fill it again…Best ever… My mom showed me that when I was in my 20’s and first married. I still use the same bottle and now n my 50’s… That’s some great vanilla…

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  • Pingback: Double Strength Pure Vanilla Extract for Sale - Mrs Happy Homemaker()

  • Connie Tonn

    Do you need to refrigerate it, or can you just keep it on a pantry shelf like the store bought kind??

    • Jennifer Sikora

      It can sit on a pantry shelf

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