Have I been living under a rock?
Bonnie had been thinking about the same thing after seeing some posts on Pinterest where people were making cute bottles for theirs and going them out as gifts:
So we decided to tackle this - it seems (still) too easy to work, but the internets has never been wrong before, right?
All you need to make the extract are some whole vanilla beans and a bottle of vodka. The ratio of beans to vodka is where the confusion starts. When I started doing research to determine how much alcohol we'd need, I found that every website had a different ratio, and when I finally settled on one ratio that I saw more than once (2 beans for every 12 ounces of alcohol), Dave and I headed to the liquor store to pick up some vodka.
The problem? Every bottle of vodka was measured/labeled in milliliters instead of ounces. Wop wop. So I was the nerd in the liquor store looked up a measurement conversion calculator on my phone, blocking half the aisle. The verdict: 750 mL = ~24 ounces. Perfect!
We got our vanilla beans from Penzeys in Carytown - 3 beans for $9.35, and they come in this awesome test tube:
Yes, I'm on Facebook at work :)
We also picked up 4 amber bottles from Elwood Thompson's to hold our vanilla once it's ready!
- $12.47 for 4 vanilla beans
- $5.84 for 4 amber bottles
- $15 for a 24oz./750mL bottle of Smirnoff
- Total: $33.31 or $1.39 per ounce
We sliced the vanilla beans in half lengthwise and just dropped them in the bottle:
Within minutes we could already see specks of vanilla floating around!
And here's how it looks on day 7:
I'm going to shake it up every few days, and smell it after 30 to see if it's already starting to smell like vanilla extract - for now it still smells more like vodka than vanilla :)! After 90 days it should be ready to strain and bottle! FUN!