November 13, 2009
Vanilla extract is a very easy homemade gift to make someone (or someones) for the holidays. It's just as easy to make a large quantity to be given to many recipients as it is to make a small batch.
The photos below show a potato vodka. I am not partial to that brand, it just happened to be the cheapest non-grain alcohol available (some people are sensitive to grain alcohols).
I buy mine at Arizona Vanilla Company but I've heard good things about Organic Vanilla Bean Company. I may try them next time around. My current batch is made with Tahitian Grade B but I'm not sure what the official "best bean" is for extract.
Like I mentioned already I am using potato vodka. If you don't need to worry about grains you can use whatever vodka you want. I think a rum or other alcohol would produce a very good flavor as well.
I'm using an old wine bottle to make my extract. I think a mason jar would work fine. If you are giving this for gifts you will want to collect little jars to pour the final product into for giving away.
The recipe for making vanilla extract that I followed calls for 1 oz of beans for every cup of alcohol. I used approximately 4 oz of vanilla beans and 3 cups of vodka for a stronger flavor.
If you get on this right away you could give these for Christmas gifts or maybe New Year's Gift - I've given those before!
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