First off, I must give credit where credit is due. My all knowing, home making, garden growing, egg hatching mother-in law got me started on making vanilla from “scratch”. She originally gave me a jar at a bridal shower and I was hooked. I give it credit for many of my recipes turning out so well. I am about to make some for my mom for Christmas; she has been asking for some since she saw mine but since the beans and vodka can be pricey, I decided to do it as a formal gift instead of a give away.
Even vanilla extract at the grocery is expensive for its size, running anywhere from $4-$10 depending on brand and purity. So you can guess, as mentioned, that vanilla beans are expensive too…so do yourself a favor and order in bulk. I got mine from Atlantic Spice Company for a good bulk price… and (sidenote) I hear they have great nuts too. :)
Depending on what size bottle you are going with, you could need anything from 5-15 beans. Even after the package is open you can store the rest to use later.
Today I am making a small amount in about an 8 oz bottle which uses 5 beans and is the perfect size for a gift.
You will need: cheap vodka, vanilla beans, a knife, and a bottle with some sort of secure lid.
Step One) Slice the beans long ways, it helps release the flavor. (I am using 5 beans)
Step two) For this size bottle, you will fold the beans in half so they will fit, then place them in the bottle.
Step Three) Add your vodka.
and you’re done! vuala!
You can deliver it as is, informing your friend to let it steep 6-8 weeks, or make your bottle 2 months in advance so it is ready when you give it. I personally loved “waiting” until mine was ready, so that is what I do.