DIY Vanilla Extract

PSA – Making your own vanilla extract is SO easy, I will (probably) never buy vanilla again! This is such a fun little project to do with your sister(in-law)/mother(in-law), friends, or by yourself. At the beginning of May we made vanilla with our mom and are planning on gifting the bottles away at Christmas (it takes 6 months for the bottles to be ready). We figured we would share this easy recipe with you all so that you could make bottles, and have them ready by Christmas.

Materials Needed:
1. Bottles – we used these bottles
2. Funnels – to pour the vodka into the bottles
3. Vodka – any type, it does not need to be high quality
4. Vanilla Beans – these are the beans we used, and for 24 bottles we bought 6 packages. Yes they are expensive (vanilla extract is expensive) but you can reuse the beans when you are finished making the first bottle!
5. A fun label (not required) – Ansley from Ellington Paper Co. is making cute custom labels for our bottles!

Instructions
1. Using a sharp knife, cut the vanilla beans down the middle so the inside is exposed (depending on the length of the bean vs jar you may need to cut them in half to shorten the beans)
2. Place 5-6 vanilla beans in each jar.
3. Pour 8 oz of vodka on top. Make sure the beans are fully submerged. Cover and shake a few times.
4. Store vanilla at room temperature out of direct sunlight.
5. Everyday for 1 month you will need to shake the vanilla bottles a bit. After one month of daily shaking, just leave the bottles and they will work themselves into vanilla extract that is ready to use in 5 months.

I knew I would forget to shake, or if I shook, so I am storing my bottles in the box that they came in and drew a little calendar a flap. Now whenever I shake the bottles, I cross off the day!

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