I know we are just starting this glorious season of fall, but I wanted to share this project now so it’s ready for gift giving at Christmas. I wanted to do this last year but did not think ahead (I’m trying to get better at that!) Anyway, here is all the information you need on how to make vanilla extract. This is the perfect, homemade gift to give friends and family for Christmas. I am going to pair mine with a loaf or two of Eggnog Bread…the recipe for that will be coming soon, along with packaging ideas so it’s all beautifully presented. My daughter made the bread last year and it was divine. The vanilla takes two months to cure so there is no time to lose. Let’s get started!
What you need:
Scissors or a sharp knife
Mason jars (optional)
(links to all sources at the end)
Ratio: 3 or 4 vanilla beans per 8 oz. vodka
Option 1: To make the vanilla in the bottles.
Wash your bottles and make sure they are very dry inside. Using a sharp knife, slit your vanilla beans lengthwise leaving one end intact. Place 3 or 4 slit vanilla beans in each 8 oz. bottle. (Use 2 beans for a 4 oz. bottle. You may need to cut the beans in half to make them fit.) Using a funnel, pour vodka into each bottle making sure the beans are covered. Cap the bottles securely. Store them in a convenient place because you need to shake each bottle about once a week.
A few months ago when I tried out this idea, I didn’t have the right kind of bottles to use for gift giving. I knew I needed to get going though so I just used mason jars. This allowed me to make the vanilla extract but decide on bottling/packaging later. So here is Option 2.
Option 2: Round up clean mason jars with lids. (I used 16 oz. jars.) With a sharp scissors, cut your vanilla beans into thirds. Using the ratio above, place your cut vanilla beans in your jars. (I used 10 vanilla beans per 16 oz. jar. I added a few extra just to be sure.) Place the lids on the jars tightly and give them a good shake. Store them in a convenient place because you need to shake each jar about once a week.
When I was ready to bottle the vanilla, I poured the vanilla from the mason jars into a pitcher, using a strainer to catch the vanilla beans. (Make sure the pitcher has a good pouring spout.) Using a funnel, I then poured the vanilla from the pitcher into my bottles.
So…now we have homemade, 100% pure Vanilla extract!
I printed on card stock and then simply cut them out. I punched two holes in the sides and tied them to my bottles with twine. You could punch one hole in the top of the tag and tie it around the neck of the bottle. Another idea is printing on sticker paper, cutting out and adhering the label directly to the bottle.
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Pack of 25 Vanilla Beans
Pack of 10 Vanilla Beans
4 oz. Brown Bottles
8 oz. Brown Bottles (pack of 12)
8 oz. Brown Bottles (pack of 4)
8 oz. Glass Swing Tip Bottle (pack of 12)
White Card Stock
Just a reminder that this takes two months to cure. If you make it in the next few weeks it will be ready in plenty of time for Christmas. Enjoy!
To see some other Christmas gift ideas just click the images below!
Click HERE for my most popular post from last Christmas…it’s all about the packaging!
Thanks for stopping by!