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Why Make Your Own Vanilla Extract?

Why make vanilla extract when you can just buy it from the store? Good question. With the price of vanilla constantly fluctuating, it’s very cost efficient to make your own. Plus, you can control the strength of its flavor. That's key, because many pricey store-bought options lack the essential depth of flavor that makes good vanilla… good vanilla. That's because either the vanilla extract is imitation and made with artificial or synthetic ingredients, or brands cut back on the amount of real vanilla in each bottle to save money. You’re not paying for good vanilla, you’re paying for the convenience of weak bottled vanilla. The recipe to make your own is simple and only requires two ingredients. All you’re doing is pouring alcohol over split vanilla beans and letting it age over time. So, here’s the recipe:

5 vanilla pods Vodka (get the cheap kind).
Note: You can use bourbon, brandy or rum if you prefer. 
Split the vanilla pods in half lengthwise.

Using an 8-ounce bottle (with a very tight seal), shove the vanilla pods into the bottle and fill it with alcohol. Seal the lid tightly. Now for the hard part — store the infusing vanilla out of direct sunlight and give it a shake once a week for the next 6-12 months. If you can manage to be patient for two years, your vanilla extract will be phenomenal. Otherwise, in six months you’ll have a really exceptional homemade vanilla extract. Bonus!…….You can continuously add more alcohol to the bottle as you use it. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving.