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5 from 2 votes

Homemade Vanilla Extract

This recipe is written for 1 bottle of vanilla, but we recommend quadrupling or octupling the batch since it lasts forever, you can give it away as gifts, and it only gets better with time.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Marinades & Rubs
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 ounces
Calories: 38kcal
Author: Amy Nash


  • 5-6 Grade B Madagascar, Tahitian, or Mexican vanilla beans at least .83 ounces of vanilla beans
  • 1 cup 8 ounces vodka or bourbon, brandy, or rum
  • 1 8.5-ounce bottle or jar with a secure lid


  • Use a sharp knife to split the vanilla beans about ¾ of the way down the middle. If using shorter jars, you can cut the beans in half.
  • Place the vanilla beans in the bottle or jar and fill with the vodka or bourbon. It helps to use a funnel.
  • Seal with the lid, then set somewhere at room temperature out of direct sunlight and let sit for at least 8 weeks, although 6 months or more is even better. Shake the bottle once a week. The vanilla will get even better and stronger the longer it sits.


  • Use your homemade vanilla extract just as you would any vanilla from the store.
  • The bottle can be refilled with vodka as the vanilla is used, but if the vanilla beans are exposed, they will start to get slimy. If you don't plan to refill the jar as you go, I recommend transferring the beans to a new jar and filling with vodka to repeat the process. You can get two batches of vanilla out of each set of beans before they start to lose their potency.


Serving: 1Tablespoon | Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg