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Making Vanilla Extract From Your Vodka Stash Is Perfect For The Gift Giving Season

Ah, vanilla extract! That magical elixir that turns good recipes into great ones. But have you ever thought about what makes the store-bought variety so… well, vanilla? The secret to truly extraordinary vanilla extract is making it yourself, and yes, it involves VODKA! 🍸 Today, we’re diving into an epic guide on how to find the best vodka for making vanilla extract. So grab your shopping list, because things are about to get boozy—and delicious!

Table of Contents

  • The Vanilla Extract Basics
  • Why Vodka?
  • Comparing Vodka Brands: Pros & Cons
  • The Ultimate Vanilla Extract Recipe
  • Storing Your Liquid Gold
  • Where to Buy Vanilla Bean Stalks in Bulk

The Vanilla Extract Basics

Before we start the hunt for the best vodka, let’s get the basics down. Making vanilla extract involves just two simple ingredients: vanilla beans and alcohol. When the beans steep in the alcohol, the essential oils, aromas, and flavors get infused, creating your own bottle of vanilla-y goodness.

Why Vodka?

So why vodka? Vodka’s neutral flavor profile allows the vanilla to shine, and it has a long shelf life. Of course, you could use other spirits like bourbon or rum, but vodka keeps it simple and classic.

Choosing The Best Vodka For Making Vanilla Extract: Pros & Cons

Alright, let’s get to the meat (or should I say, the bean?) of the matter. Here’s the lowdown on popular vodka brands for your vanilla extract adventure.

Smirnoff

Ah, Smirnoff! A classic choice in the vodka world, and let me tell you, it does a pretty darn good job when it comes to making vanilla extract too. When you go down this road, you’ll notice that your vanilla extract has a clean, crisp undernote, thanks to Smirnoff’s straightforward, no-fuss flavor profile. It’s like a blank canvas that lets the vanilla beans truly shine! There’s no overwhelming alcohol aroma, just a pure, unadulterated vanilla essence that will make your baked goodies stand out. Plus, Smirnoff is relatively easy on the wallet, which is always a win in my book. So, if you’re looking for an extract that’s rich in vanilla flavor without any complicated undertones, a Smirnoff-based vanilla extract could be your new baking bestie. 🍪🍰

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Widely available

Cons:

  • Lacks complexity in flavor

Grey Goose

Ah, Grey Goose—talk about taking your vanilla extract to a whole new level of sophistication! This high-end vodka is renowned for its exceptionally smooth and pure flavor profile, and let me tell you, it brings that same elegance to your vanilla extract. When you opt for Grey Goose, you’re treating yourself to an extract that has a more refined, almost velvety undertone. You can taste the quality. There are no harsh or bitter notes, just a clean backdrop that lets the vanilla bean really take center stage. It’s as if the vanilla flavor itself gets a luxury upgrade. Perfect for those extra-special recipes where you want every ingredient to shine. So if you’re up for indulging a bit, Grey Goose-based vanilla extract could be your gourmet go-to. While this is the case, I prefer Smirnoff for more of a traditional vanilla extract flavor.

Pros:

  • Premium quality
  • Smooth finish

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Might overpower the vanilla

Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Oh, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, you’re a game-changer, aren’t you? If you’re aiming for a vanilla extract that feels as crafty and artisanal as this Austin-based spirit, then you’re in for a treat. Tito’s brings a slightly rustic, yet incredibly smooth quality to your vanilla extract. Because Tito’s is distilled from corn, it adds an almost silky, mild sweetness that pairs harmoniously with the vanilla beans. The result? An extract that’s as down-to-earth as it is high-quality. It’s ideal for baked goods and desserts where you want that authentic, homemade essence to stand out. Plus, Tito’s is gluten-free, so it’s a great option if that’s a concern.

Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Gluten-free

Cons:

  • Can be pricey

Absolut

Ah, Absolut, a staple in many a cocktail and also a fabulous choice for vanilla extract. Using Absolut for your vanilla-making adventure will yield an extract that is remarkably pure and clear, both in flavor and in color. Absolut is known for its clean and neutral profile, making it an excellent backdrop for those aromatic vanilla beans to really flex their muscles. What you’ll get is a vanilla extract where the spotlight is entirely on the vanilla, without any distractions. This allows for a straightforward, but deeply aromatic extract that’s versatile enough for a wide range of culinary applications—from your favorite cookies to that secret family cake recipe. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense, all-about-the-vanilla extract, an Absolut-based concoction might just be your new kitchen staple. 🍸🍰

Pros:

  • Middle-of-the-road price
  • Good all-rounder

Cons:

  • Doesn’t add much to the flavor profile

Conclusion: If you’re looking for the best vodka for making vanilla extract, consider your budget and how nuanced you want your vanilla to taste. For a reliable, budget-friendly choice, Smirnoff is your guy. For a splurge with a more unique and delicious flavor, Grey Goose offers a luxury experience.

The Ultimate Vanilla Extract Recipe

So you’ve got your vodka. Now let’s make some magic!

Ingredients:

Steps:

  1. Split the vanilla beans lengthwise to expose the seeds.
  2. Place the beans in an 8 oz glass jar.
  3. Pour vodka over the beans, ensuring they are fully submerged.
  4. Seal the jar tightly and shake well.
  5. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 8 weeks, shaking once a week.
  6. Enjoy your homemade vanilla extract!

Make a large batch right in the vodka bottle and dish it out for the holidays! Scroll all the way down for the holiday recipe guide!

Storing Your Liquid Gold

Store your vanilla extract in a cool, dark place. The back of your pantry is ideal. You can keep it indefinitely, but it’s best used within five years.

Where to Buy Vanilla Bean Stalks in Bulk

For the dedicated vanilla enthusiasts among us, buying vanilla beans in bulk can save money and keep you stocked up for all your culinary adventures. I have checked websites like Beanilla and VanillaPura which have a great variety. However, I can typically find better deals on Amazon for some great quality beans. Order Vanilla Beans on Amazon Here #ad

Final Thoughts

Making your own vanilla extract isn’t just a kitchen project; it’s a labor of love. With the right vodka, high-quality vanilla beans, and a dash of patience, you’re well on your way to creating a kitchen staple that’s leagues ahead of the store-bought stuff.

So, the next time someone asks for your secret ingredient, you can say it’s love, a touch of adventure, and the absolute best vodka for making vanilla extract.

Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for readers 21 years of age and older.

Bottle of vanilla extract with a cork top with vanilla beans placed besides it. Made with the best brand of vodka for making vanilla extract.

Vanilla Extract From Vodka

Making your own vanilla extract isn't just a kitchen project; it's a labor of love. With the right vodka, high-quality vanilla beans, and a dash of patience, you're well on your way to creating a kitchen staple that's leagues ahead of the store-bought stuff.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Resting Time 56 days
Total Time 56 days 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 48
Calories 13 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Split the vanilla beans lengthwise to expose the seeds.
  • Place the beans in an 8 oz glass jar.
  • Pour vodka over the beans, ensuring they are fully submerged.
  • Seal the jar tightly and shake well.
  • Store in a cool, dark place for at least 8 weeks, shaking once a week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tspCalories: 13kcalSugar: 0.5g
Keyword easy, vodka
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Large-Batch Vanilla Extract for Holiday Gift-Giving 🎁

The holidays are right around the corner, and you’re scratching your head for gift ideas. Why not spread the love (and the flavor!) with some homemade vanilla extract? Large-batch vanilla extract is a heartfelt and practical gift that your friends and family can use all year long. Plus, let’s be honest—nothing screams “I adore you” quite like a handcrafted bottle of liquid gold.

What You’ll Need:

Steps to Large-Batch Love:

  1. Prep the Beans: Just like in our smaller recipe, you’ll want to split each vanilla bean down the middle to expose those fragrant seeds. This allows the flavor to really infuse into the vodka.
  2. Use the Vodka Bottle: Here’s the fun part! Open that giant bottle of vodka and remove enough so the bottle is about 80% full. This will make room for all those vanilla beans.
  3. Add Vanilla Beans: Using a funnel, carefully slide your split vanilla beans into the vodka bottle. You might need a skewer or a long spoon handle to help guide them in.
  4. Seal and Shake: Screw the cap back on tightly and give the bottle a good shake to start the infusion process.
  5. The Waiting Game: Just like with the smaller batch, store the bottle in a cool, dark place for at least 8 weeks. Remember to give it a shake once a week. The longer you let it steep, the more intense the vanilla flavor will be.
  6. Gift Bottle Prep: When your vanilla extract is ready, grab your small glass bottles and funnel. Fill each one with your homemade extract.
  7. Seal and Decorate: Screw the caps onto your small bottles and add your decorative labels or tags. A little ribbon or twine can add that festive finishing touch!
  8. Gift Away: Hand out your adorable, delicious vanilla extract gifts to lucky recipients. Just imagine the cookies, cakes, and other vanilla-scented goodies that your gift will help create!

Tips:

  • If you’re short on time and need to speed up the process, you can increase the number of vanilla beans for a more concentrated flavor quicker.
  • Consider using a variety of vanilla bean types like Madagascar, Tahitian, or Mexican for a unique blend.

Voilà! There you have it—your guide to making large-batch vanilla extract that’s perfect for holiday gifting. This year, let’s elevate those homemade cookies and cakes with vanilla extract that’s got a touch of you in every drop!

Bottle of vanilla extract with a cork top with vanilla beans placed besides it. Made with the best brand of vodka for making vanilla extract. Has a handwritten gift tag that states that it is vanilla extract

Vanilla Extract Shareables

Ready to spread some holiday cheer straight from your kitchen? Our Vanilla Extract Shareables recipe is the homemade gift you've been searching for! Made with your choice of top-quality vodka brands, this vanilla extract is not just incredibly flavorful but also super versatile. It's perfect for gifting in cute little glass containers, adding a personal touch to your holiday festivities.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 56 days
Total Time 56 days 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 14 4 oz Bottles
Calories 12 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Just like in our smaller recipe, you'll want to split each vanilla bean down the middle to expose those fragrant seeds. This allows the flavor to really infuse into the vodka.
  • Here's the fun part! Open that giant bottle of vodka and remove enough so the bottle is about 80% full. This will make room for all those vanilla beans.
  • Using a funnel, carefully slide your split vanilla beans into the vodka bottle. You might need a skewer or a long spoon handle to help guide them in.
  • Screw the cap back on tightly and give the bottle a good shake to start the infusion process.
  • Just like with the smaller batch, store the bottle in a cool, dark place for at least 8 weeks. Remember to give it a shake once a week. The longer you let it steep, the more intense the vanilla flavor will be.
  • When your vanilla extract is ready, grab your small glass bottles and funnel. Fill each one with your homemade extract.
  • Screw the caps onto your small bottles and add your decorative labels or tags. A little ribbon or twine can add that festive finishing touch!
  • Hand out your adorable, delicious vanilla extract gifts to lucky recipients. Just imagine the cookies, cakes, and other vanilla-scented goodies that your gift will help create!

Notes

Helpful TIPS

  • If you’re short on time and need to speed up the process, you can increase the number of vanilla beans for a more concentrated flavor quicker.
  • Consider using a variety of vanilla bean types like Madagascar, Tahitian, or Mexican for a unique blend.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tspCalories: 12kcalSugar: 0.5g
Keyword Christmas, easy, Gifts, Holidays, vodka
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Have you tried making vanilla extract with vodka? What’s your go-to brand? Drop your thoughts and tips in the comments below!

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