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How to make vanilla extract

Learning how to make homemade vanilla extract is the easiest thing ever. It requires only 2 ingredients and will save you so much money!

Ingredients (for single-fold 1X extract)

  • 20-24 vanilla beans *about 100 grm**
  • 1000 mililiters 40 proof upward of alcohol, plain vodka, brandy, bourbon, or rum can also be used***


  1. Cut the vanilla beans in half and slice them down the center to split them open.

  2. Combine the alcohol and vanilla in a large, clean jar and seal.

  3. Store the jar in a cool dark place for at least 8 weeks, shaking occasionally.

  4. When the extract is done, you can leave the beans in or remove them but the beans should always remain submerged in the alcohol to prevent them from going rancid.



Recipe Notes

*Gourmet beans or Extraction vanilla beans can be used, even the Cut and Split types are recommened to be used. The only difference is the non-Gourmet beans will not look as pretty, but this shouldn't matter since they are only being used to infuse alcohol. Extraction, Split and Cut vanilla beans are also cheaper and easier to be infused.

**The weight of the beans will vary depending on how dry they are. As long as you have 20 beans that are a good size in length, you will have enough to make vanilla.

***You can use any alcohol you desire but bear in mind that this will also affect the final flavor of the vanilla. Plain vodka will yield the most versatile result.

  1. The longer the vanilla extract ages, the better it will be. 6 months to 1 year will yield optimal results.
  2. If you purchase a 1000ml bottle of alcohol, you can drop the beans right in the same bottle without needing to purchase additional bottles for storage
  3. Re-use the vanilla beans to make a second batch of vanilla by refilling the bottle with alcohol once it's half empty. The flavor may be diluted so longer aging will be required.
  4. Two-fold 2X, three-fold 3X, or ten-fold 10X vanilla extracts are also called essences. The fold equals the strength rating; so two-fold 2X vanilla extract is made using twice as many vanilla beans as are in single-fold 1X vanilla extract.

How to store?

Keep the vanilla extract out of direct sunlight

You can use the extract as soon as 8 weeks but it will become more rich and flavorful with age. For optimal flavor, let the vanilla age for about 4 to 5 months